The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is publishing two reports today (Thursday, 7 May) following inspections of the emergency departments at Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital.
The unannounced inspections took place on 24 and 25 February 2020 and, as a result, the urgent and emergency services at the hospitals, which are part of North Cumbria University Hospital NHS Trust, is rated as Requires Improvement overall.
They are rated Inadequate for being safe and Requires Improvement for being responsive and well-led.
The departments were previously rated Requires Improvement overall, following an inspection between July and August 2018.
CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “We found a number of improvements were needed when we visited the emergency departments at Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital.
“Our main concerns surrounded staffing and safety in the departments. Our findings included that there were not always sufficient suitably qualified staff on duty, staff did not always complete risk assessments for patients and not all staff had the training to report safeguarding issues.
“We fed our findings back to the trust following our inspection so that it can make the necessary improvements. We will return to check that those improvements have been made at a later date.
“The trust is also providing CQC on regular updates on staffing in its emergency departments.
“CQC’s immediate focus will be on supporting the trust to keep people safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to ensure additional support is in place where needed.”
Lyn Simpson, who was appointed as Chief Executive of North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust in January said: “We are sorry that the findings of the CQC report are clearly below the standards we expect for our patients.
“The report clearly identified the areas where significant improvements are required in relation to processes in place in the Trust to ensure our A&E services are safe and effective for our patients.
“Immediately following the inspection we have maximised our paediatric nursing capacity and ensured consultant cover is available across both A&E sites. Whilst we continue to actively recruit additional paediatric nurses to improve the experience for paediatric patients, the Emergency department teams are working hard to ensure that they maintain the flow through the departments and minimise waiting at every step of the process.
“Whilst acknowledging the outcomes of the report and moving rapidly to improve the position, I’m confident that through the continued hard work and dedication of our staff we will achieve the improvement required ensuring we will provide the very best services for our patients.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, CQC’s immediate focus is on supporting providers to keep people safe during a period of unprecedented pressure.
CQC continues to collect insight and intelligence about the quality of care from existing data sources, providers, healthcare staff, stakeholders, and the public, and will work closely with NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure additional support is in place where needed.
The Commission is listening to what people are saying about services during this time to help detect any changes in care.
Although not conducting routine inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic, if there is evidence that people are at immediate risk of harm, CQC can and will take action to ensure that people are being kept safe.
People can give feedback to CQC via:
- Telephone – 03000 616161
- Give feedback via our website- www.cqc.org.uk/give-feedback-on-care