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Hospital criticised over poor care taken out of special measures

Tameside General Hospital Photo: ITV

A hospital in Greater Manchester is being taken out of special measures two years after a damning report.

The Care Quality Commission found significant improvements at Tameside General hospital. There were previous concerns about high death rates, lack of staff and the quality of care.

The report found a number of improvements were still to be made particularly in critical care services which had previously been rated inadequate.

"The trust has been going through a period of significant change. On our most recent inspection we have seen for ourselves that there is now a stronger culture which is committed to putting patients and safety first.

“The senior management team has led this programme of change, taking care to involve staff to ensure that this improvement is sustained. This is a credit to all the staff; we found them to be a highly dedicated workforce, committed to caring for their patients.

"There is still much to be done. I am particularly concerned that patient flow through the hospital appears to be putting continual pressure on beds, and overall the trust is not yet as safe, effective or responsive as it should be. But we can see that the trust has the systems in place to support this improvement and it is our view this is entirely within the trust’s grasp.

“We will continue to monitor Tameside Hospital. Our inspectors will return in due course to check that it has continued to make progress."

– rofessor Sir Mike Richards, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals

The trust was placed into special measures by Monitor following a recommendation by Sir Bruce Keogh in July 2013. After a further inspection last year rated the trust as Inadequate, Sir Mike recommended that it should remain in special measures.

Following the latest inspection, in April, the trust has now been rated as Requires Improvement overall. The trust has been rated Good for being well led, and Good for caring. The full reports and ratings are available at http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RMP

CQC has told the trust it must make improvements in a number of areas:

  • The trust must ensure that it has enough doctors to meet the needs of patients at all times including out of hours.
  • Patient flow must improve throughout the hospital to reduce the number of patients transferred at night and ensure timely access to the service best suited to meet the patient’s needs, particularly in A&E and medical care services.
  • There must be improvements in completion levels of mandatory training and appraisals for nursing and medical staff.
  • Medicines, particularly controlled drugs must be stored, checked and disposed of in line with best practice, particularly in A&E and outpatients.