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CQC warns Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust that it is failing to protect the safety and welfare of people

13 June 2012
Southport & Formby District General Hospital
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

13 June 2012

Regulator demands immediate improvement at Southport and Formby District General Hospital.

The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust that it must make urgent improvements to standards of care or face further action.  

The warning follows an unannounced visit by inspectors to Southport & Formby District General Hospital, Southport, Merseyside, on 2 May 2012to follow up a previous review of compliance.

Inspectors found that the Trust was still failing to comply with Regulation 13, (management of medicines) and they have set a deadline by which the Trust must become compliant.

On latest inspection CQC found that some medicines were not being securely or correctly stored.

The medication storage area in the hospital’s Emergency Assessment Unit did not have a door to ensure restricted access, and the medicines fridge within this area was left unlocked. There was no evidence that risk assessments had been undertaken by staff to assess the safety of current medication storage arrangements.

On one ward, inspectors found that “in use” insulin had been incorrectly stored in the medicines fridge, despite the manufacturer’s instructions advising not to refrigerate once opened. In addition, this “in use” insulin had not been dated on opening or labelled appropriately.

Records had been signed by staff to indicate that medication had been administered in advance of it being taken, and inspectors were concerned that patients who were self medicating might not be receiving enough support to manage their medication safely.

Ann Ford, CQC Head of Compliance for the North West, said:

"We had previously identified concerns about the arrangements the Trust has in place to ensure the appropriaterecording, handling and use of medicines. It is unacceptable that suitable improvement has not been made in this area, and that actions set following our inspection in December 2011 have not been met.

“Failure to meet national standards of medicines management, potentially puts patients at risk and this cannot be allowed to continue.

This warning sends a clear and public message that Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency or face serious consequences.

“Our inspectors will return to Southport and Formby District General in the near future and if we find that it is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the patients who use this service."


For further information please contact the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

Notes to editors

CQC has issued a warning notice to Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust requiring action to meet:  

  • Regulation 13, Care and Welfare of Service Users, Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, (Outcome 9), management of medicines.

A deadline of 22 June 2012 has been given for improvement. If this deadline is not met, 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.