CQC Places Wye Valley NHS Trust In Special Measures

The Wye Valley NHS Trust Has Been Rated As Inadequate By The CQC

16.10.2014

The Wye Valley NHS Trust, which manages medical facilities including Hereford County Hospital, has been placed in special measures following an investigation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

A review was carried out into standards at the Trust by the healthcare regulator during June this year, leading to it gaining an 'inadequate' rating overall, with many areas deemed as requiring improvement.

The CQC's report explains that there were "particular concerns about the provision of services in both A&E and medical care services".

It adds: "We saw that the inability to manage patient flow was a major issue for the Trust, which caused pressure on A&E services, medical patients to be located on inappropriate wards and cancelled surgical operations."

Bed occupancy was found to be a major issue for the Trust, with this sometimes exceeding 100 per cent and routinely coming in at 95 per cent, which is significantly above the national average of 86 per cent.

Problems relating to beds had a knock-on effect on other aspects of the Wye Valley Trust's care, leading to operations being cancelled and patients not being booked in for follow-up procedures within targeted waiting times.

What's more, patients coming in for day surgery were on occasion left in this department for up to five days, raising concerns regarding their safety and overall wellbeing.

In addition, failings were found regarding maternity care, with higher caesarean and forceps delivery rates than the national average, while equipment was stored messily and some pieces had not been serviced for three years.

Children's care facilities also raised concerns, with a play area found to be a potential health risk and cleaning standards in the department not always meeting safe levels.

The CQC also found issues with the Trust's end-of-life care, as well as outpatient services, leading to each aspect of Wye Valley's care either being rated as 'requires improvement' or 'inadequate'.

Expert Opinion
The problems and failings identified at the Wye Valley NHS Trust by the Care Quality Commission are extremely worrying and it is vital action is taken quickly to resolve the issues raised by the regulator. The decision taken to place the Trust into special measures is a positive one, as it will ensure failings are dealt with and patient health and safety become a top priority.

“The fact that many operations were being cancelled, patients were being placed on inappropriate wards and follow-up appointments were not booked correctly are concerning, as delays to treatment can have a significant impact on the recovery rates of individuals. All too often we have seen the problems patients have suffered all around the country as a result of poor care standards and procedures not being followed correctly.

"Hopefully, the Trust will collaborate with the CQC to quickly resolve the issues raised in the recent report and boost standards across the board.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner