Lack of staff puts patients at risk

Princess Royal Hospital Haywards Heath ENGSUS00120130602165450
Princess Royal Hospital Haywards Heath ENGSUS00120130602165450

Princess Royal Hospital has been told it requires improvement in a report stating that high pressure on staff has impacted on patient care.

A CQC (Care Quality Commission) report, published on August 8, has concluded that improvements are needed in the departments of; A&E, maternity and family planning, and outpatients.

The hospital was rated ‘good’ for being caring and effective, but providing safe care, being responsive to patients’ needs and leadership required improvement.

It stated: “Staffing levels in medicine and surgery and the high use of bank or agency staff placed pressure on staff and meant there was a risk that patients’ care needs may not be appropriately met.”

The report provided a list of issues:

”Staff were not always able to attend training as required.

”Lack of beds in some services had an impact on poor flow and patients were cared for in wards which were not for their required speciality.

“The outpatient Hub was not operating efficiently and effectively to ensure patients had access to outpatient review and follow-up as required.”

The Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital and others, was rated as ‘requires improvement’ last week after failings were found in its hospitals’ safety, responsiveness and leadership. But effectiveness and caring were rated as ‘good’.

Matthew Kershaw, chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals said the trust was already working to improve the areas outlined which CQC has appreciated.

He said: “Our staff should be really proud of the fact that the CQC rated us good overall for providing services which were caring and effective and gave special mention to a number of outstanding areas including those for patients with dementia, the critical care teams at both the County Hospital and the Princess Royal and our children’s services.

“The area of challenge which is the most complex and requires the most attention is the inadequate rating we were given for A&E responsiveness at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

“I want to be very clear that this is not because our Emergency Department is inadequate or failing, a clarification which the CQC absolutely endorsed.”