Stepping Hill Hospital's A&E rated as ‘inadequate’ by Care Quality Commission
Emergency care at Stepping Hill Hospital has been rated as ‘inadequate’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
Inspectors wrote how patients ‘were not always kept safe’ and were ‘at high risk of avoidable harm during periods of heavy demand’.
The report - carried out in January - also found A&E lacked the nursing and support staff with the right qualifications and skills to keep patients safe.
It read how there were ‘significant issues with the flow of patients through the emergency department and the hospital so that patients were assessed, treated, admitted and discharged in a safe, timely manner’.
Inspectors wrote: “Emergency care was consistently unable to be provided in a timely way.
“Women could not always access the maternity service of their choice when they needed it.”
Worryingly, the inspection noted risk assessments for mental health patients were not being completed - meaning opportunities to prevent or minimise harm were missed.
Inspectors wrote: “We raised this with the trust and they took immediate action to address this.”
The hospital was found to be requiring improvement overall - as it was during the last inspection in 2018.
Medical care, services for children and young people, maternity and urgent and emergency care were all found to have deteriorated since then.
However nine other services at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust - who run the hospital - were rated as good.
Though the trust’s rating for caring was good it was found to require improvement in terms of being safe, effective, responsive and well-led.
Inspectors say Stockport NHS Foundation Trust is now legally-obligated to make a number of improvements:
The trust must ensure they have enough nursing staff to keep patients safe and to provide the right care and treatment at all times - particularly during periods of heavy demand The trust must ensure there are effective governance systems to monitor quality, safety and risk The trust must improve the flow of patients through the emergency department and the hospital so that they are assessed, treated, admitted and discharged in a safe, timely manner
High Peak MP Robert Largan, who has campaigned for a new emergency care campus at Stepping Hill, said: "This report is really concerning - work on the state-of-the-art new facility is expected to start next year.
“Let’s give our brilliant NHS staff the tools and facilities they need to provide world class care for local people."
Trust chief executive Louise Robson said: “Our staff are very disappointed at the outcome of the latest CQC inspection of our services, which was carried out in January and February 2020 at the height of winter pressures.
“Some of the care the CQC inspectors saw was not of the standard we want for our patients and I sincerely apologise for that.
“We took immediate steps to address the things the CQC highlighted and we continue to work on them every day.
“We will not be satisfied until the care we provide to every patient every day is of the standard we would want for our own families.
“The inspectors put the spotlight on a number of areas for us to improve – and we are.
“There are also issues that will need all health and care partners across Stockport to address and immediately after the inspection we welcomed the creation of Stockport Improvement Board.
“It has brought together partners from the local authority, mental health services, commissioners, regulators and ourselves to jointly improve care for the local communities we all serve.”