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Liverpool Trust Warned By CQC

NHS Trust In Liverpool Has Been Told It Must Improve After Repeated Poor Performance


An NHS trust in Liverpool has been told that it must improve by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

A new report from the organisation found a number of "extremely concerning" shortfalls at the Liverpool Community Health Trust, according to the BBC.

Inspectors found excessively high rates of staff sickness, something it concluded was putting patients at risk of harm. A "poor staff skill mix" was also noted as a negative factor that reduced the quality of care offered by the trust.

High absenteeism has been repeatedly highlighted as an issue the NHS must address. Statistics collected in 2011 by the Manchester Business School found that if the amount of time nurses and doctors took off for sickness was reduced by one per cent, this would save taxpayers around £34 million per year, according to the Health Service Journal.

An over-reliance on agency staff was also discovered on unannounced inspections, while those permanently employed by the trust told the inspectors they were not supported by management.

This, according to the CQC, caused widespread poor morale and is something that must be resolved if services are to improve.

The storage of medication was another area where the trust was told to make changes. On a hospital ward it was found that nurses were not putting drugs back into cupboards properly, while the administering of some medicines was also concluded to have fallen short of expected standards.

After being notified of the CQC's conclusions, the Liverpool Community Health Trust described the report as "disappointing".

Frances Molloy, chair of the trust, said: "The trust is committed to resolving the highlighted issues, many of which were identified by ourselves and by our own staff.

"We proactively reported these issues to the CQC and have been in regular contact with them regarding the improvements and actions we have been taking since. We take the concerns very seriously but can report that significant progress has already been made."

Expert Opinion
It is concerning to read these reports, but also pleasing to see that the Liverpool Community Health Trust acknowledge the several failings raised by the CQC and confirm that they are committed to resolving these particular issues.

“Patients deserve the best possible care that is available to them and their health and safety should always be the main priority. Care standards must improve and the key approach to this is to ensure the CQC is conducting investigations to identify where certain areas of the NHS are failing.

“It is vital that the public are made aware of this information and are able to consider their options in terms of their own healthcare.

“We are contacted on a daily basis by patients and families across the country who want answers about poor care they have received and reassurances that lessons will be learned to prevent others suffering in similar circumstances.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner

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