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  1. ITV Report

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust A&E rated inadequate

Accident and Emergency services at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust have been rated 'Inadequate' - and medical care 'requires improvement'.

That's following an unannounced Spring inspection of the Queen Alexandra Hospital by the Care and Quality Commission during February and March.

Inspectors found overcrowding and long waiting times at A &E. The trust said it is 'working hard ' to make changes.

Scenes like this were seen in January where ambulances were waiting outside the QA Hospital Credit: ITV Meridian

"On previous inspections we have expressed our concerns about the flow of patients through the emergency department and into the hospital, as well as the hospital's reliance on using the Jumbulance to accommodate patients needing urgent attention. If the patient flow through the hospital was effectively managed there should be no requirement for the Jumbulance unless there was a major emergency.

"It is a matter of some concern that, despite previous assurances, the trust has been failing to manage emergency admissions and this has been affecting partner organisations who may already be stretched beyond capacity.

"To ensure swift and effective improvement takes place, we have decided to place conditions on the trust's registration to ensure that emergency admissions are managed effectively and that patients are assessed and treated in a timely manner.

"While we have placed conditions on the registration, it is clear that the trust cannot achieve these improvements on its own. It will require the combined determination and effort of the whole health and social care community in the area to ensure that the level of service that the people of Portsmouth are entitled to expect is consistently provided."

– Professor Edward Baker, CQC's Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals
The A&E service at the Queen Alexandra Hospital has been rated inadequate Credit: ITV Meridian

The inspection identifies a number of specific areas where the trust must improve, including:

  • Patients waiting in the corridor, or in ambulance vehicles, must be adequately observed and monitored by appropriately trained staff.
  • The hospital must accept full clinical responsibility for patients waiting on the ambulance apron
  • All medicines must be stored safely in the Medical Assessment Unit
  • Patient notes must be stored securely across the hospital to prevent unauthorised access.
  • All patients in MAU must have care based on plans developed to support identified risks.
  • Patients must receive timely discharge from hospital.
  • Plans to change the urgent medical pathway must be implemented in a timely manner.
  • Staff in the MAU must adhere to infection control policies and procedures
  • There must be better and more accurate monitoring information to reflect patient safety and the quality of care
The Trust has apologised for failing to provide to patients Credit: ITV Meridian

"We recognise the picture painted by the CQC in this report and we are very sorry that we have failed to provide to our patients, on a consistent basis, the high standards of care that we expect of ourselves. We also apologise for any problems that this, in turn, has caused our health partners, including the local ambulance service.

"We fully accept the inspector's findings and we are now working hard to make the improvements that will ensure we have a much more efficient emergency department in future. We have already made some changes and over the coming weeks and months we will be doing more. Our first priority is to ensure patient safety within the emergency department.

"It will take time to make all of the necessary improvements but we are determined to ensure that by the time of maximum demand in our emergency department, next winter, our service will be better.

"I am confident that together the trust leadership, our hard working staff and our health partners will make the improvements needed."

– Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust's interim chief executive, Tim Powell