CQC: Lincoln hospital still needs to improve

A report by the CQC has raised concerns over discharging patients at Lincoln County Hospital, despite improving other elements of its care.

The Care Quality Commission revisited the hospital this month after a previous report indicated care for patients and staff needed immediate improvements.

ULHT, the body which manages care within the hospitals, vowed to improve conditions.

This month inspectors from the CQC found the main issue facing patients was lack of coordination around discharging.

Inspectors were informed of one patient being discharged to a care home with no medication, or information about the medication they had prior to the discharge.

The family of another elderly patient felt discharge in the hospital was “unsafe” because they had not been involved in decisions and had been “poorly planned”.

Overall, a number of patients were at risk from delays and uncoordinated care and support when they are discharged.

However, the CQC also found examples of improvements throughout the hospital.

Staffing levels have improved, patient records were more organised and patients were protected from most risks.

New and refurbished wards are also bright, well decorated and spacious, the report found.

Inspectors did not find that areas in the maternity ward posed potential risks to patients due to undergoing refurbishment, but patients noted that it was not having an impact on the levels of their care.

ULHT now has 14 days to respond to the report and set out how they will act to improve areas of concern.

In a statement, ULHT said: “We are pleased that the latest report for Lincoln County Hospital reflects progress made, particularly around assessing and monitoring the quality of services.

“The report highlights the success of the Trust’s ‘Safety and Quality Dashboard’ which was launched across the Trust in December and provides information about standards of care for ward staff every month.

“We recognise there is still more to be done, particularly around cooperating with other providers and we are working continuously to address issues raised.”

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney commented: “I welcome this report and I, along with the CQC, recognise the progress Lincoln County Hospital has made, particularly around assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

“The report describes an increase in activities and systems to manage and reduce risks to patients and reflects the success of the safety and quality dashboards that were launched across the Trust in December.

“In addition to the CQC’s report, my recent visits to the hospital have assured me that the Trust remains fully committed to addressing all the issues raised and that they are working very hard to identify where improvements can be made.”

To access the full report of the May 2012 inspection, visit the CQC website.

Related Report: BBC Lincolnshire