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Patients' safety at risk, demoralised staff, and poor care on the wards. Just three of the reasons the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth has been issued with a formal warning and told it must make immediate improvements.
A damning report by a health watchdog has found a "culture of poor care" in some areas. In one case, inspectors had to intervene when a patient started choking and nearby staff didn't react. Another ignored calls for help from a dementia patient.
The Care Quality Commission has told Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust that it must make significant improvements to protect patients using medical care services at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
CQC has issued a Warning Notice requiring the trust to improve safety, patient consent, dignity and respect, safeguarding and overall leadership. At the same time CQC has placed six conditions on the trust's registration requiring specific action until the trust can demonstrate that patients are safe.
The enforcement action follows two separate inspections this year when inspectors identified a series of concerns about services for people requiring emergency medical care, particularly those affecting frail older people or patients living with dementia.
During the inspections in February and May, teams of inspectors visited the acute medical unit, 10 medical wards and five outlier and escalation areas including the discharge lounge, and day units for cardiac and renal patients.
The hospital's medical care has been rated as 'inadequate'; urgent and emergency care has been rated as 'requires improvement'. Safety is rated 'inadequate' in both departments.