A leaked internal report at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool has uncovered significant safety concerns in its operating theatres. The review, obtained by Channel 4 News, revealed staff were "pressurised" and "shortcuts to safety processes".
Peter Walsh, head of charity, Action Against Medical Accidents, said the nursing directors report into care at Alder Hey was the "frankest" report into poor patient care he had ever seen.
Alder Hey was "a symptom of the NHS and staff under pressure," Walsh told Daybreak.
"It's all too depressingly familiar, but one small crumb of comfort we can take from this is unlike the situation 18 months ago, staff could at least use the safety net.
"They should have been able to raise these concerns with the trust, but they went to the CQC (Care Quality Commission) and the CQC acted and the nursing directors report to a public board meeting is probably the frankest, hardest hitting report I have ever seen.
The latest review of the operating theatres at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, led by one of the NHS trust's own directors, warned, "The level of risk is such that urgent action needs to be implemented to avoid an adverse outcome or serious incident", according to Channel 4 News.
Under the heading "safety concerns", the review reportedly states:
Safety shortcuts "have created high risk activity"
There is "limited reporting of incidents" ie near-misses and mistakes
There is a belief "senior management and the board are aware of the working conditions and condone it"
Some individuals reported that the "working environment is hostile"
There are "numerous examples" of staff feeling pressurised to undertake activities "they do not believe are safe"
The leaked report adds, "The perception of mistrust of management and the board is such that there is a widespread feeling of hopelessness that change will ever be achieved".