13.08.13. Photo credit : Phil Tragen

The Trust which was ordered to improve its performance by the Care Quality Commission last year, has seen standards drop further in the watchdog’s latest inspection out this morning.

During the first inspection of Stepping Hill Hospital in March inspectors visited the urgent and emergency department and medical care, to follow up on concerns identified in the trust’s previous inspection.

Inspectors returned to the hospital in June 2017, where they focused on concerns that had been identified by CQC’s routine monitoring of intelligence.

As a result of the inspection, the urgent and emergency services department has been rated Inadequate. Although medical care remains rated as Requires Improvement,the Safe domain in medical care was rated as Inadequate as a result of the inspection.

The trust’s overall rating remains as Requires Improvement.

The inspection found that safety within the emergency department was still not a sufficient priority. Nurse staffing was a significant challenge with patients experiencing delay in treatment.

During the inspection of medical care in June, the commission requested immediate assurance from the trust that it had addressed the shortage of nursing staff. Incident reporting was poor. Staff did not always report incidents in line with the trust’s policy and procedure and there was insufficient oversight of incident data from the management team.

In medical services, patients were waiting too long to be discharged from the hospital; this in turn meant that patients needing treatment were waiting too long to be admitted. The numbers of delayed discharges had increased since the last inspection.

The hospital had opened a community unit where patients ready for discharge could be accommodated until arrangements had been made to be cared for at home. Inspectors found that services were planned to meet the needs of the local population and that staff were committed to delivering good, compassionate care.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said:

“It is disappointing to report that the care provided by Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has deteriorated since our inspection in 2016. “It is clear that access and flow is still a major concern. Too many patients are waiting in the emergency department to be admitted, transferred or discharged – well below the standard set by the Department of Health.”

“Although we recognise the pressures that the trust is under – it is clear that there are several areas where the trust can and must improve. We will return in due course to check the trust’s progress.”

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