CQC praises hospital for 'significant' A&E progress

PUBLISHED: 06:44 26 February 2018

Weston General Hospital and A & E Department.

Weston General Hospital and A & E Department.

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‘Significant’ improvements have been made to Weston General Hospital’s emergency department in the past 12 months, says the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

WAHT chief executive James Rimmer.WAHT chief executive James Rimmer.

Inspectors this week revealed positive progress has been made in fixing issues which led to A&E being labelled ‘inadequate’ last March.

But the CQC highlighted some areas of concern, with the hospital not yet testing its alterations 24/7 due to the temporary overnight closure of A&E. Keeping patients in the corridor, including one with dementia, was also commented on.

Overall, Weston Area Health NHS Trust’s (WAHT’s) chief executive James Rimmer is pleased with the report.

He said: “We are delighted to note the CQC has recognised the significant progress we have made in improving patient safety in A&E.

“We also recognise we are on a journey of improvement and fully support the CQCs findings there is still more work to be done.

“We’re heartened to read that despite visiting on an ‘exceptionally busy day’ with A&E under considerable pressure, the CQC witnessed our staff continually demonstrating the ‘safety and comfort’ of our patients was always their first consideration.

“The CQC also documented the changes we’ve made to improve patient flow (how quickly patients are moved from A&E into a hospital bed) have been ‘embraced’ by our staff both on the wards and in A&E. This is testament to the professionalism and dedication of all our hard-working NHS staff at Weston.

“Since the CQC inspection, we have finished the redesign of the walk-in section of our A&E and remodelled ambulatory emergency care and are working hard to improve our patient flow and discharge processes.”

Other changes include a ward reconfiguration and steps towards allowing for ‘direct admissions’ into the hospital, lessening strain on A&E. CQC inspectors said waiting times were improving but some ‘lengthy admissions’ were noticeable.

Its report added: “We were concerned that unsuitable patients were placed in the corridor on arrival. This included a patient who was living with dementia, who was confused.”

WAHT says corridor use is a ‘last resort’ and came at a time when all hospitals were struggling for space.

The inspection’s ‘limited focus’ means A&E’s ‘inadequate’ rating remains.

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