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Inspectors concerned at level of care and treatment at Weston General

WESTON General Hospital has been given an overall rating of ‘inadequate’ following the latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Inspectors who visited the hospital,  which is run by the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, broke down their assessment into the following categories:

  • Safe  – Inadequate
  • Effective – Requires Improvement
  • Caring – Good
  • Responsive – Requires Improvement
  • Well-led – Inadequate

They also said the outpatients service was ‘good’ but the level of medical care, including that for older people, was ‘inadequate’.

Significantly concerned

The report reads: “We were significantly concerned about the safe care and treatment of patients receiving medical care at Weston General Hospital and imposed urgent conditions upon the trust’s registration.

“Within these urgent conditions, the trust was required to take urgent action to protect patients who will or may be exposed to risk of harm.

“Whilst the trust has taken immediate steps to address our concerns, we have yet to be fully assured that the actions taken will be sufficient and sustainable to ensure safe service provision.”

Council response

Cllr Mike Bell, North Somerset Council deputy leader and executive member for health, said: “I am disappointed by the results of the latest CQC inspection of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW).

“Weston General Hospital staff continue to deliver good quality care to the local community and have done an amazing job supporting local residents during the Covid pandemic. However, problems identified in the inspector’s report do need to be tackled.

“I’m particularly concerned about the findings that the Trust leadership had a lack of awareness of medical care at Weston General Hospital, that there was evidence of a lack of partnership working between the Bristol and Weston sites and that the leadership was not on top of some major concerns, including the supervision of junior doctors.

“These are all issues that North Somerset Council has repeatedly raised with UHBW. Our Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel has strongly challenged Trust leadership on progress and senior councillors and council officers have written to and met with management regularly to highlight local concerns about the pressures faced by Weston General Hospital.

“We are due to meet again in the next couple of weeks and will be pressing for a stronger action plan to address the weaknesses identified. I welcome and endorse the comments from the inspectors that the Trust needs more support from NHS England and the local health and care system to deliver sustainable improvements.

Resources

“Now must surely be the time for more resources and investment to be delivered to Weston General Hospital to enable staff and management alike to turn the page and implement the improvements I know they want to see.

“NHS staff have done an incredible job supporting our community through the Covid pandemic and it is great to see the care provided by staff at Weston highlighted and recognised by the CQC inspectors.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A top councillor is calling for funding and resources so Weston General Hospital can “turn the page” after inspectors rated it inadequate.

Mike Bell said he was particularly concerned that hospital trust leaders were not on top of some major concerns, including the supervision of junior doctors, and that they lacked awareness of medical care.

The deputy leader of North Somerset Council said it would continue to press for stronger action to address the issues raised by the Care Quality Commission.

The inspectors said in a report published last week following an unannounced visit in June: “We were significantly concerned about the safe care and treatment of patients receiving medical care at Weston General Hospital and imposed urgent conditions upon the trust’s registration.

“Within these urgent conditions, the trust was required to take urgent action to protect patients who will or may be exposed to risk of harm.”

They added: “Whilst the trust has taken immediate steps to address our concerns, we have yet to be fully assured that the actions taken will be sufficient and sustainable to ensure safe service provision.”

Councillor Bell, the executive member for health, said Weston General had done an amazing job supporting local residents during the Covid pandemic and the report was disappointing.

“These are all issues that North Somerset Council has repeatedly raised with UHBW.

“I welcome and endorse the comments from the inspectors that the trust needs more support from NHS England and the local health and care system to deliver sustainable improvements.

“Now must surely be the time for more resources and investment to be delivered to Weston General Hospital to enable staff and management alike to turn the page and implement the improvements I know they want to see.”

The CQC report emphasised the difficulty recruiting at Weston General – job vacancies for doctors sometimes receive no applicants at all, at all levels – and said the inadequate medical cover was causing anxiety that spilled over into Bristol.

The trust – which was rated good overall – said it was not alone in facing challenges around staffing and by the end of December an additional 320 nurses will have joined by the end of March.

Robert Woolley, the trust’s chief executive, said: “We have also recruited to a full complement of both junior and middle grade doctors in medicine in Weston, and we have bolstered the education and training environment to support medical trainees overseen by our director of medical education and we have recently appointed an associate dean to further enhance educational support.

“In addition, we are also working with our system partners to deliver a plan which reaffirms Weston General Hospital as a dynamic hospital at the heart of the local community providing high-quality care to the population it serves.

“We know there are areas we need to address, and we know what we need to do. We have already tackled some of the issues outlined in the CQC report and we are making progress in others as outlined above and a full action plan will be developed.

“We are committed to making the necessary improvements and our focus will remain on providing safe and high-quality care to our patients.”

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