Patients At New £430m Hospital 'Put At Risk'

Urgent And Emergency Services At Bristol’s Southmead Hospital Rated ‘Inadequate’

12.02.2015

Urgent and emergency services at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital, a new £430m facility that opened last May, have been rated “inadequate” in a new report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 

A&E patients were left waiting on trolleys for 12 hours due to a lack of available beds, failing to meet the four-hour turnaround target for patients attending A&E. Critical care, maternity, gynaecology and surgery were also rated as “requiring improvement”.

The CQC said the trust was facing serious financial and performance issues that were putting the safety of patients and the wellbeing of staff at risk. Despite this, the dedication and commitment of staff was identified as “outstanding” across all service areas.

The report outlined improvements the hospital would require to provide care that was “safe, effective, responsive and well led”. North Bristol NHS Trust has already begun improvement efforts following the inspection.

Andrea Young, the Chief Executive of the Trust, said: "We have recruited additional nursing staff and consultants and we've identified additional places for patients to be assessed so they don't wait a long time."

Expert Opinion
The findings published following the inspection of Bristol’s Southmead Hospital by the CQC are extremely concerning, as the new facility was intended to provide the highest possible standard of care to patients in Bristol.

“It is crucial a thorough investigation into the failings identified by the CQC is conducted and any problems are swiftly rectified so care standards can be improved across the board. All too often patients suffer when financial issues result in a lack of resources and it is vital these issues are addressed at Southmead Hospital, but also throughout the medical sector.

“We welcome the decision by the North Bristol NHS Trust to recruit staff members and to increase the treatment areas available for patients. We hope further improvements will be made in the coming months and patients will be reassured that they will receive the best possible care at Southmead Hospital.”
Julie Lewis, Partner