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Penn Hospital needs to do more to meet the essential standards of care

18 May 2012
Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media,
  • Mental health hospital services,
  • Hospitals

18 May 2012

Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust told it must improve.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has warned a Wolverhampton mental health hospital it must improve or face further action.

CQC carried out an unannounced inspection at Penn Hospital, in Penn Road, Wolverhampton, on 15 March to check on whether improvements had been made in relation to an inspection in August 2011.

The inspection, in March, was carried out across three wards at the hospital, which is part of the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

During the visit CQC inspectors identified major concerns with the essential standards of quality and safety relating to the care and welfare of people who use services, consent to care and treatment and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

Following the inspection CQC issued warning notices to the trust in relation to all the standards where major concerns were highlighted.

Andrea Gordon, CQC Deputy Director of Operation (regions), said: “During our unannounced inspection, we identified a number of unacceptable failings.

“Our inspectors found inconsistencies in care records and saw examples of where proper steps to ensure the care and welfare of people had not been taken.

“People using this service are vulnerable and these are issues of real concern. We have therefore demanded that improvements are made."

During their visit, inspectors observed what was happening on the wards and spoke to patients.

While they saw some examples of good care and were given some positive feedback, it was also clear improvements were needed.

Inspectors found one person with a leg injury where the dressing was not only soiled but had fallen and was no longer covering the wound. This put the person at risk of infection. Furthermore staff could not show inspectors a written plan of care for the wound.

CQC found inconsistencies in care records relating to whether people had given consent to receiving treatment. Forms relating to consent had not been completed in two cases.

In one case staff were unable to show inspectors a care plan relating to someone with diabetes, who therefore had specific care needs.

Another patient was seen to be asleep at a dining table wearing nothing on their feet. The person’s feet were blue but when inspectors spoke to staff about this they appeared to be unaware that the person may be cold. No action had been taken to ensure the comfort of this person.

CQC also found that when issues had been highlighted through the trust’s own monitoring processes there had been no effective action taken to address shortfalls.

Following the inspection CQC issued a warning to the trust demanding that improvements are made.

This is the second time the trust has been issued with warning notices. Following the inspection at Penn Hospital in August last year the trust was warned it needed to make improvements in relation to the essential standards relating to the safety and suitability of premises and supporting workers.

On this, most recent, inspection the trust was found to be compliant with supporting workers while there were minor concerns with the safety and suitability of premises.  

Andrea Gordon added:  "We will be carrying out further unannounced inspections at the hospital to ensure improvements have been made.

“When we inspect again we will expect the trust to be able to demonstrate it has made rapid and sustainable improvements."

Where improvements are not made CQC has a range of enforcement powers it can use to assist in driving through improvement.

The kind of action CQC can take includes prosecution, closure, or restriction of services.


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

The full compliance report on what our inspectors found will be available on CQC's website shortly.

CQC has issued the warning notices to the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, requiring that action is taken to meet:

  • Regulation 9, care and welfare of service users, Regulation 18, consent to care and treatment, and 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 14 July 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.

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.