Colchester: Hospital told to improve standards

Colchester General Hospital is failing to meet expected standards in patient care and welfare

Colchester General Hospital is failing to meet expected standards in patient care and welfare - Credit: PA

A HEALTH watchdog has found Colchester General Hospital is failing to meet expected standards in patient dignity and risk management.

A report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said there was no monitoring system in place for serious incidents while key information was missing from some people’s care plans.

Overall, the hospital met standards in four out of six key areas. These included care and welfare, meeting nutritional needs, management of medicines and supporting workers.

However, it was not meeting standards in respecting and involving people who use the hospital’s services and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

As a result the hospital has been told to take action to improve standards in these two areas.

Director of nursing at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester General Hospital, said the inspection showed it was performing “strongly” in general but would address the short comings highlighted by the CQC.

The report stated: “We found that there was no monitoring system in place to ensure all incidents that were serious were identified and responded to correctly. This meant that we could not rely on the accuracy of the reports

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from the trust around serious incidents.”

It also stated: “We found that key information was missing from some people’s care plans that would inform staff on how to meet people’s diverse needs and ensure a more consistent and personalised delivery of care” and later said “there were instances brought to our attention where maintaining people’s dignity may have been compromised.”

The results of the CQC inspection come as an investigation is launched into high death rates at the hospital after figures showed a sharp increase in hospital deaths last August.

Julie Firth, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, said the Trust welcomed the publication of the CQC inspection report and accepted its findings.

“It shows that overall Colchester General Hospital is performing strongly,” she said.

“The CQC found: ‘In general people were very satisfied with the care and treatment they had received and in most cases were very complimentary about the attention and attitude of staff towards them.’

“We achieved four of the six essential standards that the CQC investigated, including ‘care and welfare of people who use services’ and ‘meeting nutritional needs’. In addition, the CQC had one minor concern and one moderate concern.

“We will now study this report in detail and draw up an action plan to address those few areas where we need to make further improvements so that we will comply fully with all essential standards.”

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