The Telegraph has recently reported that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are demanding ‘immediate improvements’ to Basildon Hospital’s paediatric unit after a number of ‘serious incidents’ there.
In July this year, the heath watchdog carried out inspections at the Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department and adult wards. After their visit the CQC issued a warning in relation to the essential standards, the care and welfare service users and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.
In August and September, CQC carried out follow up inspections and found that improvements had been made at the hospital. However, on 3rd November 2012 they carried out an unannounced inspection that was prompted by a number of serious incidents involving the care of children at the Trust.
The unannounced inspection revealed that some children were having to wait more than an hour to see a doctor and there were often ‘considerable delays’ in enabling them to receive the medical attention they needed when their condition deteriorated, particularly after 5pm and at weekends.
In addition, CQC found there was an ‘inadequate mix of nursing and medical professionals on the children’s ward, on occasions’ and the Trust failed ‘to plan and deliver care to meet the needs of children in a way that ensured their welfare and safety.’
Andrea Gordon, the CQC’s deputy director of operations, said: ‘It is highly disappointing that the Trust is again in breach of the same two regulations albeit in relation to different parts of the service is offers. That is why we have asked the Trust to look deeper at its own processes, policies and procedures by commissioning an investigation.’
A deadline has been set to the Trust to make improvements by 13th January 2013 after which, the CQC inspectors will return for another unannounced visit. If improvements at the hospital have not been made, CQC has a range of enforcement powers which include restricting the services that a provider can offer, or, in the most serious cases, suspending or cancelling a service. CQC can also issue financial penalty notices and cautions or prosecute the Trust for failing to meet essential standards
By Sarah Fairclough