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CQC warns University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust it needs to do more to protect the safety and welfare of people
16 August 2012
Regulator demands improvement by Leicestershire hospital trust.
The Care Quality Commission has issued a formal warning to the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, saying it must make improvements to standards of care or face further action.
The warning follows unannounced visits by inspectors to the trust on 27 and 28 June.
During the visits inspectors found improvements were needed in relation to assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.
- Inspectors looked at information from care records, hospital data and spoke to staff during their visit.
- Staff in the emergency department reported they did not have essential equipment to carry out medical observations, meaning people had to wait longer than necessary for basic assessments.
- CQC found the trust was missing its own targets for maintaining the flow of patients through the emergency department on to wards. For example; people were waiting more than four hours to be transferred to a ward from the emergency department.
- An audit relating to medication storage, carried out in February 2012, identified issues but an action plan concerning this did not contain any timescales for resolving these matters.
- The audit identified the storage of medicines was not secure but inspectors witnessed a number of incidents where medicines were accessible. This meant patients could be at risk because effective measures were not in place to manage the storage of medicines and prevent these being accessed by those who were not authorised to do so.
- A number of the action plans that the trust had in place to ensure improvements were made had no target dates for completion and they were not up to date.
Andrea Gordon, Deputy Director of Operations (regions), said: "The law says these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant
“This warning sends a clear message that the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, needs to address this issue or face further consequences.
“Our inspectors will return in the near future and if we find that the required progress is not made we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect the people who use this service."
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is an acute NHS hospital trust which operates Leicester Royal Infirmary, Glenfield General Hospital and Leicester General Hospital.
For further information please contact Louise Grifferty, regional communications manager, on 07717 422917 or the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.
Notes to editors
CQC has issued the warning notice to the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust requiring that action is taken to meet:
- Regulation 10, assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision, Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010.
Inspectors will carry out a further unannounced visit to assess whether the necessary improvements have been made.
A deadline of 2 November 2012 has been set for improvements to be made.
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.