Leeds Hospitals Told To Improve

Leeds General Infirmary And St James's University Hospital Have Been Told To Improve

01.07.2014

Two hospitals in Leeds have been told by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that they must improve if they are to resolve patient safety issues.

Leeds General Infirmary and St James's University Hospital were both highlighted by the CQC as needing drastic changes in order to ensure that patients are given the quality of care required by the Department of Health.

According to inspectors, there is a shortage of out-of-hours doctors and nurses on surgical, geriatric and children’s wards, meaning that people were left at risk if they developed complications during the night, reports the BBC.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the two hospitals, said that plans are in place to make sure that improvements are made.

The Trust also welcomed praise from inspectors regarding how clean the two sites were, with particular positive attention focused on how the two hospitals had developed systems to reduce the chances of infection in patients.

However, staff attendance at some hygiene training sessions was low and the CQC raised concerns that increasing numbers of patients were not being catered for with an increase in beds.

The hospital was also told to make sure that teenage cancer patients had facilities tailored to them, as at present many younger people have no specialist treatment.

Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We are pleased that the inspectors recognise the constructive steps we have already taken, such as investing in more clinical staff and having dedicated safeguarding arrangements.

"We acknowledge there are areas in which we still need to make progress more quickly and we have plans in place to make this happen, but the improvements we have already made are good foundations on which to build."

Leeds General Infirmary was last criticised by the CQC in 2012 when it was found that understaffing was having a negative effect on care outcomes for patients across the hospital.

Expert Opinion
Patient safety should always be the priority for the NHS and a key part of providing high quality care is ensuring that adequate standards are being met in all areas.

“The CQC’s findings here are a concern and it is vital that steps are taken to ensure that staff shortages on all wards are addressed at both Leeds General Infirmary and St James’ University Hospital.

“However, it is encouraging that the Trust has recognised the urgency to act quickly to rectify these issues and already have an action plan in place to improve its services and also that they have an effective system in place to reduce the chance of infection for patients.”
Rachelle Mahapatra, Partner