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CQC issues warning to Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust following inspection

29 May 2012
Broomfield Hospital
Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

29 May 2012

Regulatordemands hospital trust takes action to improve.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a formal warning to Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trustsaying it must do more to improve standards of care or face further action.

The warning follows a CQC inspection at the trust’s Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, on 13 April. 

Inspectors visited the hospital as part of a routine check on compliance. CQC staff found that improvements were needed in relation to records.

  • CQC inspectors looked at nine patient records on two wards. There were numerous gaps in food and fluid charts meaningit was unclear whether people were receiving adequate nutrition and hydration at all times.
  • Most patient discharge checklists were blank or poorly completed meaning it was difficult to establish what plans had been made to support people when they had been discharged back into the community.
  • Assessments for the risk of falls and people's mobility needs were not always signed, dated or completed.
  • Inspectors were concerned that some food charts were discontinued for without a reason. Staff were asked why this had occurred but they did not know. This posed a risk to patients because incomplete records cannot support clinical decision making practices regarding hydration and nutrition.

This meant that standards were falling short of what people should be able to expect.

Andrea Gordon, Deputy Director of Operations (central region), said: “The law says that these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant.

“We will be returning to the trust to follow up on progress and, when we do, we will expect the trust to be able to demonstrate it has made improvements.

“Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trustneeds to address these issues or face serious consequences.

“CQC has a range of legal powers it can use if it is found the required progress has not been made. Where necessary we will use these powers to protect the people who use this service.”

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust provides a comprehensive range of acute and community based services to a local population of approximately 371,000. Broomfield Hospital, in Court Road, Broomfield, Chelmsford, is a 700 bed acute hospital.


For further information please contact Helen Gildersleeve, regional communications officer, on 0191 233 3379 or the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

Notes to editors

The report of our inspectors’ visit will be published on CQC’s website soon.

  • The warning notice finds that Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trustis in breach of Regulation 20 (1) (a), records, Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) 2010. 

Inspectors will carry out a further unannounced visit to assess whether the necessary improvements have been made.

The deadline for improvement is 6 July 2012. If improvements are not made, CQC has a range of enforcement powers which include restricting the services that a provider can offer, or, in the most serious cases, suspending or cancelling a service. CQC can also issue financial penalty notices and cautions or prosecute the provider for failing to meet essential standards. Any regulatory decision that CQC takes is open to challenge by a registered person through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.