Lincoln County Hospital slammed by CQC

Lincoln County Hospital has come under scrutiny by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) due to not meeting four essential standards of quality and safety.

A report by the CQC has been issued after an unannounced visit to the city’s hospital in June to observe the care patients received during their stay, and to make sure the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust (ULHT) were in compliance with the new quality and safety standards, issued April 1 2010.

Areas of concern

Talking and observing patients, some waited up to four hours in theatre recovery due to lack of beds. This also led to the use of bed pans instead of toilets, which are lacking in the area. This may be a compromise to patients’ dignity. Some staff left medication at patients’ bedside rather than helping them take it when needed.

Patients also found that they could not always identify staff due to lack of introduction or clearly displayed name badges, and the needs of patients with a learning disability were not fully understood by all staff.

If staff felt a patient was being abused, not all were clear on what to do about it, and not all received training on protecting vulnerable adults, the report found. Bank nursing staff were also not clear about training and development opportunities.

Good teamwork

The CQC also found examples of people receiving good care, such as staff knowing what to do if a patient’s condition deteriorated, adequate staff levels, patients knowing who to go to about care needs, and what to if they didn’t feel they didn’t feel their needs were met.

Staff interviewed by the commission also said that they enjoyed their job and the hospital, and good teamwork took place among theatre staff.

Even though the breaches are not a risk to patients, the ULHT will now have to provide the Commission of Quality Care with an action plan detailing how they will combat the issues outlined in the report.

Andrea Gordon, CQC regional director, said: “During our inspection of Lincoln County Hospital we were pleased to see examples of people receiving really good quality care.

“It is true that we found evidence to show the trust is not meeting four standards, however, we want to reassure the public that we do not believe there are immediate risks to patient safety.

“We will be monitoring progress closely and will not hesitate to take action and use our powers to drive improvement where necessary.”

The ULHT have welcomed the criticisms and are beginning to tackle the issues, said a statement from the Trust.

“We have already begun work to address the areas where action needs to be taken. We are pleased that the CQC has recognised that patient safety is always the trust’s foremost priority and that we provide safe care to our patients.”

Source: Commission of Quality Care | Photo: Nicholas Vinacco