Bradford Royal Infirmary 'Cannot Provide Safe Care'

Bradford Royal Infirmary does not have enough staff to provide "safe and effective care", say inspectors

13.01.2014

Staff shortages have had a direct impact on Bradford Royal Infirmary’s ability to deal with patients, in particularly in the accident and emergency department, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has reported.

The CQC also raised concerns about the staffing skill mix in some areas.

The NHS trust said that "robust action plans" had been devised to tackle the issues raised in the report.

A formal warning has been issued to Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI from the CQC after carrying out an unannounced one-day inspection in September and a follow-up inspection in October.

Overall, it found that, the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was failing to meet four of the six national standards reviewed.

Inspectors found a shortage of senior level medical staff cover in A&E, particularly during the early hours, and said there were delays in assessing and prioritising people's injuries and illnesses due to "insufficient staff numbers".

A CQC spokesperson commented: "The inspectors raised concerns that this was impacting directly on the trust's ability to provide safe and effective care that fully met patient's needs."

Other areas of concern included overcrowding in A&E and poor record keeping on one elderly care ward.

Roz Sanderson, from the CQC, said, however, that people should continue to use the BRI.

She said: "We've identified these failing, we've alerted the trust, the trust has supplied us with an action plan telling us how they are going to deal with these failings and they have implemented some of that already."

A spokesman for the trust said it took the concerns raised "extremely seriously" and had taken immediate steps to "significantly increase staffing levels" and put in place "robust action plans".

He said: "We would like to reassure patients that we have taken significant steps to immediately improve standards since the CQC inspection in October and we are confident that measures have been taken which allow us to continue providing safe and effective care that meets patients' needs."

Expert Opinion
The findings from the CQC’s report are extremely worrying and it is essential that urgent action is taken to make sure that staffing levels meet the patient’s needs.

“Patient safety should always be the top priority across all levels of the NHS and to fulfil this staffing levels and resource on wards must be at a suitable level to cope with demand. It is encouraging to see that the Trust has acknowledged the findings and confirmed it has taken significant steps to increase staffing levels, particularly as we are in the heart of the busiest period for A&E wards.

“We hope that lessons have been learnt by BRI and that the issues are addressed for good to ensure patient safety cannot be compromised again in future.”
Rachelle Mahapatra, Partner