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Staff 'don't feel they can raise concerns' at Slough hospital

The Care Quality Commission says it's inspectors felt concerned that staff members didn't feel they could safely report concerns without fear of reprisals.

Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has told the CQC that improvements will be made after the hospital failed to meet eight of the nine standards when reviewed.

We found there was a clear emphasis on responding to national and local clinical targets but less emphasis on ensuring that overall patient experiences were positive.

Most worrying perhaps is that staff did not always feel they could raise concerns or make suggestions, and that some were reluctant to be identified as having raised concerns for fear of reprisals.

The trust has told us that it will take action to make the improvements required. We will monitor this closely, and we will be returning to inspect the trust.

– Adrian Hughes, Regional Director of Care Quality Commission in the South

Care Quality Commission calls for urgent review of Slough hospital

The Care Quality Commission is calling for an urgent review of care at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough. It's told the Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that urgent improvements need to be made to protect patients.

CQC has issued six formal warning notices to the trust following an unannounced inspection at which it failed to meet eight of the nine national standards which were reviewed.

Inspectors found that:

  • On the Acute Medical Ward care given to patients was below standard on a number of occasions
  • Patient's dignity and privacy was not always respected
  • There were poor standards of cleanliness and inadequate infection control in some parts of the hospital.


Hospital warns over "particular incident"

After failings reported by the CQC, BMI's Chief Executive Stephen Collins said he has written to patients who may have been affected by a "particular incident".

"I want to reassure our patients that the hospital has already been in touch with anyone who may have been affected by a particular incident,"_

"I have personally written to all patients who were admitted for treatment at Mount Alvernia in the last year explaining what has happened and providing contact details should they want to discuss the matter further with us."_


– Stephen Collier, chief executive of BMI Healthcare

He added that BMI have reviewed its other hospitals and found "no similar issues".

Watchdog delays report

CQC report into hospital failings is delayed Credit: ITN

A report about the inspection was due to be published today by the CQC, but was delayed after the hospital made last-minute representations on two issues, the watchdog said.

A spokesman for the CQC said "Following the inspection CQC raised serious concerns with the provider and formally warned them that immediate improvements were required to protect people from coming to harm._

"As a result of our concerns being raised with them, BMI agreed to voluntarily suspend children's surgical admissions at the hospital and to start making other changes required."We have continued to monitor the hospital closely. Full details of our inspection will be published shortly."

Apology for "entirely unacceptable" failings

The hospital has apologised for the "entirely unacceptable" failings after the inspection in December 2012 and January 2013.

"The hospital's practices let BMI and our patients down and I apologise for that"."In 2012 we were not maintaining the high standards that we and our regulators demand at Mount Alvernia."However our staff responded selflessly and, with a strengthened team and support from our national clinical experts, have ensured that the failings identified at the turn of the year are now fully addressed and that the hospital continues to provide the high quality care for which it is known and which prevail across our other hospitals."

– Stephen Collier, chief executive of BMI Healthcare


Nursing home staff have received extra training

The West London Mental Health Trust which runs the Limes nursing home has said it has taken action after a Care Quality Commission report found that its staff were not trained in dealing with allegations that patients had been abused.

"Some of the staff interviewed didn’t fully understand the process of reporting safeguarding incidents to the local authority safeguarding team and lacked training in this important area. We took immediate action by sending an information alert to staff reminding them on how to recognise the signs of abuse and how to report it. In addition we held focus groups and we run regular safeguarding training for all staff members who now discuss any incidents which have occurred at their weekly team meeting."

– West London Mental Health Trust

Chase Farm Hospital says it is now up to standard

The trust which runs Chase Farm Hospital says it has taken action following a Care Quality Commission report which criticised its staffing levels and record keeping. Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust said a second inspection last month had shown that standards had been improved.

"Following the inspection the Trust took immediate and appropriate action to meet these standards. Following an unannounced inspection in February 2013 the Trust was found to be compliant in the staffing and records standards."

– Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust
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