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Weston-super-Mare NHS Trust 'must improve'

Weston General Hospital Credit: ITV News

Weston-super-Mare's NHS trust has been told it must improve by the health regulator, the CQC.

Although the trust, based at the town's General Hospital, was described as "caring", inspectors said patients waited too long to be assessed in A and E, while a shortage of consultants was putting strain on junior doctors.

When you've got that number of vacancies over a sustained period of time it makes life pretty tough. The doctors who are there are working hard but they're under consistent pressure in a way that's more severe than we've seen anywhere else.

– Mary Cridge, Care Quality Commission

Hospital ordered to clean up

The Great Western Hospital in Swindon has been told it must improve staffing levels. It has also been ordered to improve cleanliness and infection control, and how it monitors the quality of its service.

It follows an inspection by the Care Quality Commission which found that some wards caring for frail, older people and the Day Surgery Unit did not always have enough experienced and skilled nursing staff on duty.

An inspection by the CQC found wards did not always have enough skilled nurses Credit: ITV News West Country


Plans for hidden cameras in care homes

A controversial plan to install hidden cameras to check for abuse in care homes is being considered by the industry's regulator. It follows undercover filming which showed mistreatment of patients at Winterbourne View near Bristol.

It's part of a consultation announced by the head of the Care Quality Commission today. Our political correspondent Bob Constantine reports.

Care home bosses will not be jailed

We're not jailing but it would be unlimited fines and it will be for the awful cases.

If you break the fundamental standards that you have to comply with as a provider of care, and you are responsible for that, there are consequences, and I think that's what the public expect.

There's also a culture when awful things happen, there's a cover up, people get paid off, they get gagged from talking about it. That has to end.

These pay offs have to end and people at the top of the organisation should be held to account."

– Norman Lamb MP, Care and Support Minister.

Care home bosses could be held 'criminally accountable'

Scandals like Winterbourne View and Mid-Staffs have damaged confidence in our health and care system.

Part of our commitment to rebuilding that trust comes from making sure that people at all levels are held to account for failings when they occur.

Whilst there must be a sharper focus on corporate accountability, more needs to be done to ensure those responsible for leading a care organisation are up to the job.

I hope that providers and people who use services and their families will respond to this consultation as we look to take these proposals forward."

– Norman Lamb MP, Care and Support Minister.


Hospital trust say they 'accept concerns'

We fully accept the concerns raised by the CQC and have taken immediate action to address them.

Prior to the CQC inspection of Fromeside in December 2012, we were aware that staffing levels and the mix of skills and experience on some wards needed to be improved in order to enhance the level of care we offer. The very specialist nature of our forensic services and the need for us to ensure we have experienced and highly trained staff in this environment has and will continue to be a challenge.

– Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

They added:

We have now appointed an experienced service manager with significant forensic experience to manage the service. We have increasing management and staff engagement to ensure there is a forum for discussing any concerns and for action to be taken where necessary to resolve them.

The quality of patient care, and ensuring that we deliver the programmes of care, remain the priority of the Trust at all times.

– Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

Staff became 'tired of reporting their concerns'

Staff told us that shortages had become so commonplace that they had become tired of reporting their concerns as they perceived that nothing was done about it, but this cannot be allowed to continue.

The trust has assured us that they will be taking action to address our concerns and meet the standards. They are required to show us how they will go about this. We will return in the near future and if we find that they are not making the required progress we will consider further how to use our legal powers to protect the patients who use the service."

– Ian Biggs, Deputy Director of CQC in the South

Report finds 'over reliance on temporary staff'

Inspectors say there weren't enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people's needs. Below are the main findings of the CQC report into staffing levels at the Blackberry Hill Hospital in Bristol.

  • There was an over reliance on temporary bank staff, who may not have had the necessary training to undertake the full range of duties on a medium secure unit.
  • Even though many patients at Fromeside were only permitted to leave the ward with staff escorts, staff shortages restricted people's ability to leave the ward.
  • Patients and staff said that leave was regularly cancelled or disrupted, leading to further problems affecting staff and patient morale.
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