Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust Put Under Special Measures By CQC

Medical Negligence Experts At Law Firm Irwin Mitchell Say Patient Safety Should Be Paramount

19.10.2016

Saffron Otter, Press Officer | 0114 276 4666

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has put the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow under special measures after improvements had failed to be made during a follow up inspection.

The report released today from the CQC says that there had been deterioration in the quality of services since their previous inspection a year prior.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust is located in Harlow, Essex and is a 460 bedded District General Hospital providing a comprehensive range of specialist services.

The CQC visited the hospital on 28 and 29 June 2016 as part of their regular inspection programme, and again unexpectedly on 2 and 5 July 2016. 

The commission said that there was a lack of management oversight and lack of understanding of the detail of issues which they observed. Furthermore, they noted that the trust had significant capacity issues and was having to reassess bed capacity at least three times a day. 

This pressure on beds meant that patients were allocated the next available bed rather than being treated on a ward specifically for their condition. 

Along with staff shortages, this means that the wards were struggling to cope with the numbers of patients and that staff were moved from one ward to cover staff shortages on others.

The Commission said: “We have rated the Princess Alexandra Hospital location as inadequate overall due to significant concerns in safety, responsiveness and leadership, with an apparent disconnect between the trust board leadership level and the ward level.

“However, we found that the staff were very caring in all areas. We have rated the maternity and gynaecology service as outstanding overall.”

Sarah Wealleans, medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office, said:

Expert Opinion
“Unfortunately it seems the issues at the source of the decision by the CQC are not only capacity issues but also problems with management.

“The result of these problems is an environment which is not conducive to satisfactory standards of care or safe conditions for patients. Patient safety should be paramount and hopefully the special measures will bring about the necessary changes.”
Sarah Wealleans, Solicitor