The trust which runs Peterborough City Hospital have been told they require improvement following the latest official inspection.
The North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust - which along with the Peterborough hospital also runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon and Stamford and Rutland Hospital, was visited by the Care Quality Commission earlier this year. The damning report gave the trust an overall grade of ‘requires improvement.’ The inspectors also rated safety, effectiveness and leadership as requiring improvement.
The report said: “The trust did not ensure sufficient numbers of staff completed mandatory training in key skills. Nursing and medical staff did not meet the trusts compliance target in most courses. In addition, staff were not always trained to the appropriate level of children’s safeguarding.
“There were periods of understaffing or inappropriate skill mix, which was not always addressed quickly. There was a heavy reliance on agency, bank and locum staff.
“In the critical care unit, medical staffing remained a concern and did not comply with Guidelines for the Provision of Intensive Care Services (GPICS) 2015, as there were not enough consultants with intensive care qualifications.
“Medicines were not always managed consistently and safely. Medicines were not always stored correctly or disposed of safely.
“Lessons learned were not always communicated widely to support improvement in other areas where relevant.”
The inspectors added: “Staff were not always competent to undertake their roles. For example, in maternity services midwifery care assistants were undertaking physiological observations without training or being assessed as competent to undertake this role. In the fracture clinic, health care assistants were preparing injectable medications without training or supervision.”
However, the inspectors did say staff and services were caring at the hospital, rating that category as ‘good,’ along with how responsive services were.
Last year the trust which ran Peterborough City Hospital and Stamford and Rutland Hospital merged with the trust which ran Hinchingbrooke.
The merger was announced in a bid to save ‘fragile’ services in both trusts.
Following the publication of the report Caroline Walker, Chief Executive at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust said: “While being rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ by the CQC inspection team has come as a disappointment to our staff and to our board members, it is important that we reflect on it in the context that we are just 18 months post-merger.
“From feedback gained through other routes, we know we have come a long way in that time, but it is not possible to embed our recently-developed clinical strategy, nor new processes for the integration of cross-site teams in our service areas, within that timeframe.
“It’s important to note the report highlights many areas of good practice, and I am also pleased to see an outstanding rating for the Caring element of our End Of Life Care service at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
“I hope our staff will not be too disheartened by the overall outcome. They have already been working hard on some key actions put in place to address some of the issues highlighted by inspectors back in June.
“If the inspection team were to make a return visit to our hospitals this week, I am confident they would see significant improvements since our June inspection. We will continue to use this report as we progress on our journey of improvement to become an ‘outstanding’ organisation in the future.”