Our hopes for the Queen Alexandra Hospital

Posted by Patricia Wakeford on

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I was very disappointed to hear a report on Radio 4 yesterday morning stating that the Care Quality Commission had recently rated the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth as inadequate. More so because this is my local hospital and my first port of call if my family or I need emergency care. This has also been reported on BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-36479129

Ursula Ward the Chief Executive who resigned in May 2016 has been replaced by interim Chief Executive Tim Powell.  Mr Powell said "We recognise the picture painted by the CQC in this report and we are very sorry that we have failed to provide to our patients, on a consistent basis, the high standards of care that we expect of ourselves.'

The CQC who did not provide advance notice of their visit used words such as 'chaotic' and 'unacceptable' in relation to the risk to patients. The Accident & Emergency unit was found to be very overcrowded with some patients waiting on trolleys in corridors and others in ambulances; including frail pensioners.

Some of the CQC assessors were clinicians. They felt that they had to bring to staff's attention that some patients needed urgent assistance.

Hampshire Conservative MP, George Hollingbery, who represents Meon Valley, said: "I'm heartened the trust has apologised for its failings... but, sadly, we have been here before and patience is understandably wearing thin."

This has caused further problems for South Central Ambulance who are unable to hand over their patients and get back to dealing with emergency calls. Mark Ainsworth, of South Central Ambulance Service, said there had been "significant improvements" in the flow of patients into the emergency department since the CQC inspection was carried out.' This is very good news.

Although this is disappointing; the CQC did say that staff were doing the best that they could under very difficult circumstances. It appears that this is a management issue rather than a staffing problem.

I do hope that the staff get the support that they need going forward and that Mr Powell achieves his aim of 'next winter, our service will be better'.

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About the Author

Photograph of Patricia Wakeford

Patricia is a Senior Associate, in our Clinical Negligence team, and is also a qualified midwife with many years of experience working in the NHS.

Patricia Wakeford
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