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Regulator takes urgent action at Pinderfields Hospital

21 September 2012

CQC has imposed an urgent legal restriction on the registration of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, preventing the use of the day surgical unit at Pinderfields Hospital for patient stays in excess of 23 hours.

This action follows an unannounced visit to the hospital by inspectors on Wednesday 5 September in response to concerns received that the specialist day unit was being used to provide longer term care, without the resources necessary to support this type of service.

CQC found that a number of patients had stayed on the day surgery unit for over 24 hours during July and August 2012. In some cases patients had stayed on the unit for 4 days or longer.

There was no direct access to washing facilities on the unit and patients were washing from disposable cardboard bowls.

There was no night lighting installed on the unit. Staff explained that if patients were to be admitted through the night, which records showed was a frequent occurrence, full lighting on the ward had to be turned on disturbing other patients’ sleep.

Inspectors were concerned to find there were no inpatient catering facilities on the unit and only sandwiches, and more recently microwave meals, were available to patients.

Patients had no bedside storage available for their personal possessions. Inspectors found patients’ belongings left on the floor at the side of the bed.

Inspectors were concerned about the unsecured access to the adjacent theatre area and the potential hazard this posed for patients and visitors.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, deputy director of CQC in the North said:

“The failings we witnessed on this unit at Pinderfields Hospital were completely unacceptable. CQC took swift action following our inspection to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients.

“The decision to place an urgent condition on a provider’s registration is not one we take lightly.   However, when we find poor practice, as we did in this case, we will take immediate action to ensure patients are not at risk.

“We are heartened by the Trust’s rapid and positive response to our action and they are working closely in partnership with other agencies to address the issues of concern. However we will continue to monitor the position closely and, if necessary, will not hesitate to take further action to ensure patients receive the service they are entitled to expect.    

Ends

For further information please contact Regional Communications Officer Kirstin Hannaford on 07825947160 or the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

Notes to editors

CQC has imposed a condition stating thatMid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust must not admit any further service users as inpatients who require treatment of disease, disorder or injury for any period exceeding 23 hours to Gate 40 ‘Day surgical unit’ Pinderfields Hospital without the prior written agreement of the Care Quality Commission.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.