Weston General Hospital Given Two Formal Warnings About Patient Care

‘Urgent Action Is Needed To Improve Quality Of Services’ Says Expert Lawyer

14.06.2013

By Helen MacGregor

Medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell say urgent action is needed to improve services after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report found that Weston General Hospital has been given two formal warnings about the care of its patients.

The CQC spent three days at the hospital in Weston-Super-Mare in April to check whether improvements from a previous inspection in August had been made.

Weston General Hospital was criticised last summer for not "respecting people's privacy, dignity and independence".

But the health body now said it was concerned to find the "same failings" which had been identified in a previous inspection.

Ian Biggs, from the CQC, said "When we last inspected Weston General Hospital we found that all too often, patients’ privacy and dignity were not properly respected - and it is a matter of concern that we have found the same failings in all of the patient areas we visited.

“We heard too many stories of people who weren't getting the help they needed, or whose appeals for assistance went unanswered, and who were left humiliated or simply left to wait."

Nurses in the wards and A&E departments told inspectors they were "overstretched" and it was found that record keeping about what vulnerable patients are eating and drinking was poor.

Julie Lewis, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office who represents victims of medical negligence across the South West, said: “We are deeply concerned to hear that despite a CQC report last August raising concerns about patient care and dignity, another inspection eight months on found standards had not improved.

“There is no excuse for this and urgent action is needed by staff at all levels within the hospital and Weston Area NHS Trust to improve the quality of services it provides.

“Patient safety must remain the top priority across all levels of the NHS and this starts with ensuring good basic standards of nursing and care where patients are treated with dignity and respect.

“Any hospital that falls short of this must provide answers about why this is and show the CQC that all steps are being taken to improve services as quickly as possible.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to medical negligence claims