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Health watchdog finds 20 services need to improve

Health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, has criticised 20 areas of care at hospitals in Hull, following inspections in February.

In his first report on the quality of services provided by Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals rated both the Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital at Cottingham as Requiring Improvement.

While end of life care, critical care and maternity and family planning services were rated Good - the inspection concluded that all other services were below required standards.

Inspectors found that both hospitals were facing staff shortages and insufficient capacity to deal with the increasing numbers of admissions.

Staffing levels and skill mix did not always meet national guidance, the report found, although the trust board had agreed to invest in recruiting more nurses, and was in the process of recruiting for doctors' posts.

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At the Hull Royal Infirmary, the accident and emergency department was found not to have enough facilities or staff to deal with the numbers of patients attending. There was a lack of appropriate senior clinicians and the children's accident and emergency department could not provide a dedicated 24-hour service.

In response, the Trust says it was aware of some of the issues raised in the report, and is already actively making improvements.

We welcome the CQC's inspection report as a way of holding a mirror up to the Trust and understanding what works well and where the real pressure points are in the system. The most serious of the findings are clearly the breaches in regulation. We have already developed an action plan to address these, with actions directly assigned to members of the Executive Team to ensure immediate action is taken, and this plan will be monitored regularly by the Trust Board.

Intensified by an increasing demand for hospital care and a population which is living longer, we are very clear that we cannot implement long-term, effective solutions to these challenges alone. Instead, working with local commissioners and providers of health and social care, we must press forward with plans to align all parts of the care system, ensuring patients are able to access hospital care when they need it and then continue their recovery in the safest and most suitable place, which isn't always in hospital.

– Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust