Thursday, 30 October 2014

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital A&E found wanting by CQC

The Care Quality Commission conducted an inspection of Chelsea and Westminster hospital in July 2014, i.e. before the closures of Central Midd and Hammersmith A&Es. In an inspection generally very positive about C&W, the A&E was considered as "requiring improvement." Report extracts include:-

“There had been an increase in demand for services, and the capacity in some areas of the trust, such as A&E, experienced difficulties in meeting this additional demand. Staff reported that a contributing factor to this increase was due to the local reconfiguration of services across London.”“Medical staffing levels did not meet national recommended standards in A&E.”“Patient care in A&E was good but the service was under increasing pressure and attendances were increasing, which was causing delays in assessment and treatment.”

Specific areas of risk were not managed appropriately: the timings for ambulance handover; triage and assessment of patients in A&E and consultant sign-off when they left the department.”

“Staff in A&E told us that there was low morale.”

The assessments of the needs of service users were not always undertaken in a timely fashion either when arriving by ambulance or attending on foot in the A&E. The lack of space in the A&E department compared to the number of patients admitted meant that patients often received care and treatment in environments that were not suitable and where it was difficult to appropriately monitor their condition Patients in A&E were, at times, being treated in the corridors of the A&E and their privacy and dignity was not maintained.

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