Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust fails to protect patients

Posted by Samantha Ward on
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust fails to protect patients

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I was concerned to read that a formal warning has been issued to Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the body responsible for Derriford Hospital, by the Care Quality commission (CQC) following an unannounced inspection in which the Trust failed to meet five of the nine national standards under review.

Of particular concern are issues such as failures to adequately address the safety and welfare of service users, inadequate staffing and record-keeping and inadequate monitoring and auditing of services.

The CQC apparently spent two weeks at Derriford Hospital in April this year due to concerns raised that patient safety was at risk.  Issues included eight 'never events'; incidences involving risks to patient safety that should never happen.Several of the incidents concerned the operating theatres at the Trust including four of wrong site surgery!   The inspection found, whilst safety check lists were being used, that staff were being put under too much pressure; they reported that theatre timetables were unrealistic with no room for contingencies, and when lists ran over they felt pressured to cut corners to save time. Staff shortages were also cited. 

The CQC noted that the same issues had been identified during an inspection two years previously but that the necessary changes had not been made; overall, the Trust had failed to identify and manage the risks to patients.  This makes very disappointing reading and I agree with Adrian Hughes, regional director of the CQC, who suggests that despite the complexities of the organisation, there is no excuse for these incidents - which should never happen.  Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust has assured the CQC that improvements will be made and a further, unannounced inspection will be made in the near future to monitor the situation.

Read more here.

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About the Author

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Sam is a Registered Nurse with 17 years' experience working in the NHS. She uses her medical and nursing knowledge and experience to liaise with clients.

Samantha Ward
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