Hospital rapped over staff levels and patient care

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Royal Preston Hospital failed to meet three out of five essential standards of care following an unannounced visit by inspectors from a health watchdog.

The care and welfare of people who use the services, staffing levels and complaints were the areas highlighted as needing action by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission, following the visit over several days in November.

A number of patients told inspectors they had been moved around wards more times than they felt necessary and a few patients reported being woken up during the night to be moved around.

Inspectors felt the hospital was not meeting the staffing standard for having enough workers to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs.

The hospital did not meet the complaints standard as inspectors felt action was needed to ensure people had their complaints listened to and acted on properly.

Tim Ellis, regional officer for health union UNISON, said:“The heart of the CQC findings is a shortage of staff which has led to the other areas of concern. The hospital has suffered a five per cent loss in funding year-on-year”

But Karen Partington, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Overall the inspection was really positive and found many examples of excellent care and treatment. We are very pleased inspectors recognised our commitment to providing safe and effective services, and highlighted our rigorous and successful approach to prevent infections. However the CQC also judged that we are not fully meeting three standards, which could have a minor impact on our patients.”

The CQC inspectors did acknowledge the concerns identified were of minor impact and could be resolved quickly.

Royal Preston Hospital was found to be compliant in the areas of cleanliness and infection control and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

Hospital chiefs have been asked to send the CQC a report setting out their action plan to by January 21.