Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust Told To Make Improvements

CQC Inspection Highlights ‘Inadequate’ Services Across The Trust


Hospitals within the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust have been told that they need to make a number of improvements following an inspection which found patients were at risk because of shortages in staff.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that the Trust’s services were ‘inadequate’ and questioned patient safety.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals and were rated ‘good’ for being caring to their patients in the CQC’s report.

However, the inspection highlighted that there were not enough nurses to provide care for patients on some of the wards and staff morale was low.

The CQC report said: “We found the staff caring for patients were compassionate and treated people with dignity and respect.

“However, due to significant staff shortages and movement of staff between areas, there was a level of frustration as staff were aware that they were not providing the quality services they aspired to provide.”

At Pinderfields Hospital, inspectors expressed serious concern of a risk to patient safety on Gate 20 which is an acute respiratory care unit at the hospital.

A total of six beds had to be closed on the ward simply because nurses had too many patients to care for.

The report stated that at Dewsbury and District Hospitals, beds had been closed of Ward 5 due to ‘an increase in patient harm being reported, complaints relating to patient care and low staffing levels.’

The CQC also criticised outpatient services at the Trust after finding a backlog of 9,500 patients waiting for follow up appointments; the report said: ‘This was reflected in the high number of complaints regarding outpatients, reporting distress and frustration at delays and appointment cancellations.’

Inspectors were concerned about the conditions in the mortuary at Dewsbury Hospital which was in a state of disrepair, stating: ‘The mortuary was in a poor state of decorative repair, with damaged walls and broken tiles. This would not allow for effective and thorough cleaning to be undertaken.’

Following the CQC’s inspection in July this year, Mid Yorkshire’s overall rating was ‘requires improvement’ and nine separate reports were produced on its services.

The Trust has started to make changes to improve its services, including recruiting 100 nurses, the outpatient backlog has been reduced to 3,000 and Dewsbury mortuary has been redecorated.

Chief executive Stephen Earnes said: “I’m personally very proud of our staff. Many are doing an absolutely outstanding job in quite challenging circumstances.”

Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said patients and relatives were generally happy with their care at Mid Yorkshire.

“I am very concerned that staff shortages in the Trust’s acute hospitals are impacting on the safety and quality of patient care.”

Expert Opinion
The findings from the CQC are very worrying as patient safety should always be the number one priority for any healthcare provider. It is vital that the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust works as quickly as possible to provide reassurances that lessons will be learned and standards improved.

“We see recurring cases where problems have emerged as a result of hospitals not being able to cope with the level of demand due to staff shortages and substandard care and the problems of the past simply cannot be allowed to be repeated.

“It is encouraging that the Trust has started to put a plan into place to address the issues raised in the CQC’s report to ensure that the areas highlighted will be improved.

“It is important work continues to identify the regions within the NHS where there are failings in patient care and that action is taken to ensure that staff are trained to meet industry guidelines and also that staffing numbers meet the level of demand.”
Rachelle Mahapatra, Partner