The NHS watchdog has told Tameside hospital trust it needs to make improve to meet national standards. The Care Quality Commission said there were serious shortfalls in some areas including, delays, cancellations and treating people with mental health issues.
Inspectors talked to over 150 patients, relatives and staff and most spoke positively about the recent changes. Patients and relatives also spoke highly of the friendly and caring approach of staff.
However, inspectors found that the Trust was failing to meet eight of the 11 national standards reviewed. Some of the key issues of concern were:
- Some staff didn't have adequate understanding of the legal requirements of the Mental Health Act 1983 and Mental Capacity Act 2005, on occasion, consent to treatment had not been properly obtained. Inspectors found one patient who had been detained unlawfully in the hospital for several days.
- Some patients experienced delays in getting seen in the outpatient department.
- Some elective operations were cancelled due to bed shortages.
- In some areas, the planning and delivery of care did not meet patients' individual needs. i.e: support for patients with mental health conditions in A&E.
- Not enough qualified staff to meet the needs of patients in the Medical Assessment and Admissions Unit and on some adult medical wards.
- In parts of the hospital, some staff did not adequately respect patients’ dignity when providing care and treatment.
A new report by Monitor has commended Tameside Hospital NHS Trust for making "exceptional progress' on their road to delivering better and safer treatment to patients.
In July 2003 Tameside was put into special measures following the Keogh Review, which identified concerns with measures the trust was taking to prevent hospital acquired infections.
The Keogh Review also raised concerns that there was insufficient clinical cover, particularly out of hours.
As a result Tameside applied 22 urgent or immediate actions in their Keogh Action Plan.
By January 2014, it had delivered five and 17 were on track to be delivered. This included decreasing the number of patients falls by 18% and meeting the national target to deliver 95% of all care harm free.
Although there is further work to be done, NHS staff at all special measures trusts deserve praise for driving improvements in the quality of their services.
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