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Chief Inspector of Hospitals takes action after inspection at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals issued a warning following an inspection Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals have been issued a warning by England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, following an inspection.

CQC visited the trust, unannounced, on 24 March, following concerns regarding the emergency departments at the trust’s Alexandra Hospital and Worcestershire Royal Hospital, and today, a report has been published of publishes of the inspection.

Areas focused on by the CQC included the safety of patients, particularly in the emergency department, as well as delays in handovers and a shortage of staff.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

“Our inspectors were concerned at what they found in the emergency departments at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. We found there were delays in handovers from ambulance crews, there was a shortage of nursing and senior medical staff and we had concerns about safeguarding procedures concerning children and the management of medicines.

“This is why we took immediate action. Our team gave feedback on their findings to the trust as soon as they had finished their inspection and this was quickly followed by CQC issuing warning notices and placing a condition on the trust’s registration. We have been closely monitoring the trust since our inspection, working with the Trust Development Authority and other stakeholders, such as the local Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England, and we will continue to do so.

“Our inspectors will return to the trust unannounced at a future date to check on whether improvements have been made. If improvements are not made we will consider what further action we need to take.

“Significant work is needed to improve services at the trust so that it meets the standards people have a right to expect.

“The trust knows what it now needs to do to ensure change takes place.”

A condition was placed on the trust’s registration with regard to the service at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The trust has been given instructions to improve care and pay special attention to staffing levels and the maintenance of equipment at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals to become smoke free

Worcestershire hospitals are marking the start of their 99 countdown to becoming completely smoke free Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Worcestershire hospitals are marking the start of their 99 countdown to becoming completely smoke free with No Smoking Day 2015.

Last year, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Alexandra, Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals, placed a ban on hospital staff smoking on site. The hospitals will now become smoke free to all patients and visitors on 17 June 2015.

Smokers will no longer be able to light up in any of the acute hospital grounds, including car parks.

It takes 12 weeks to overcome dependency on nicotine, so we want to offer support to people now. With the help of an NHS stop smoking advisor, you are four times more likely to quit.”

– Mary Cornford-Hill, stop smoking advisor at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch

Following the introduction of the smokefree rules, the trust will be removing smoking shelters from the Alexandra, Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal hospitals and actively asking people to ‘stub it out’ if they are seen smoking.

Becoming a completely smokefree trust is something we have wanted to do for a while."

“Our patients are already in hospital because they are acutely ill and smoking is known to make a lot of these conditions even worse. "

“Being faced with a crowd of smokers on your way into hospital isn’t a nice way to start your experience of the great care and services we provide. By banning smoking from our sites, patients and visitors will get to experience a more pleasant start to their treatment and recovery.”

– Denise Harnin, Director of Human Resources

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Former postman wrongly convicted of rape loses fight for compensation

Credit: ITV News Central

Former postman Victor Nealon's conviction for attempted rape was quashed after he had spent 17 years behind bars.

He has now lost a High Court battle for compensation.

Mr Nealon, from Redditch in Worcestershire, had asked two judges to rule that UK law is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) because it wrongly restricts compensation in "miscarriage of justice" cases.

He was set free after appeal judges ruled that fresh evidence made his conviction unsafe. Mr Nealon had always denied being the attacker.

He intends to proceed to the Court of Appeal.

Murder investigation launched after prison death

A murder investigation has been launched after the death of an inmate at HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire.

HMP Long Lartin, Worcestershire Credit: West

John York, 25, was found pronounced dead yesterday evening after he was found seriously injured in his cell, West Mercia Police said.

Two men, aged 30 and 46, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Detective Inspector Mark Bellamy, who is leading the investigation, said:

We are currently working to ascertain the exact circumstances surrounding the death of Mr John York and our priority is to ensure those responsible are brought to swift justice.

I would like to take this opportunity to pass my condolences to the victim's family at what must be a very difficult time.

– Detective Inspector Mark Bellamy, West Mercia Police
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