1. ITV Report

Maternity patients safety at hospital in King's Lynn 'at risk'

Inspectors have warned The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn that it's maternity service is so poor that the safety of patients is at risk.

The Care Quality Commission has rated the hospital as inadequate and says it should be put in special measures.

Accident and emergency and medical care were also inadequate.

The hospital accepts the findings and has apologised to patients they have let down.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Credit: ITV Anglia

The trust was inspected between 4 April and 21 June 2018.

Inspectors highlighted a number of concerns and areas for improvement and the trust is now rated as Inadequate overall.

"On our return to the The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust found there had been a deterioration in the service provided since our last visit and a number of improvements were needed. Our inspection found concerns in urgent and emergency care, maternity and medical care. All three departments are now rated as Inadequate overall following our inspection and surgery, which was previously rated as Good, is now rated as Requires Improvement. Our concerns in relation to the maternity service were such that we raised these with the executive directors while on site, issued a warning notice to the trust, identifying areas where it must improve, and placed conditions on the trust's registration. We know the trust initiated an immediate action improvement plan for maternity services and we will return to check on improvements in the service. We have reported our findings to the trust leadership and it knows what it must do now to bring about the necessary improvements. We will continue to liaise with NHS Improvement with regard to the trust and its progress and our inspectors will return in due course to check on whether the improvement needed has taken place."

– CQC's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Credit: ITV Anglia

The trust has been told it must make improvements in a number of areas especially patient care records and mental capacity assessments must be consistently and competently carried out where required.

The hospital has also been told to improve the culture, working relationships and engagement of consultant staff across all services and make sure effective process for managing staff grievances and complaints are in place.

"Reading the report leaves me saddened. We fully accept all that the CQC have said and I would like to apologise to those patients who we have let down and to our dedicated staff who work so hard under sometimes extreme pressures. I am determined to ensure this organisation improves and meets their expectations. We have already started to address the issues highlighted in the report and have comprehensive plans in place to ensure we turn this situation around. Our vision is to deliver high quality, patient centred, integrated care and we continue to work towards this."

– Jon Green, Chief Executive, Queen Elizabeth Hospital