According to an investigation by the Observer, a majority of hospitals in England and a high percentage of those in London provide inadequate care.
Inspectors found that patients were being treated in the hallways and serious conditions like sepsis and cancer were going undiagnosed in a certain hospital’s emergency department.
The CQC inspectors evaluated the ratings of 254 general hospitals, excluding those that only offer specialized services. Out of these, seven were deemed “inadequate” and 122 were marked as “requires improvement,” making up 51% of the total.
The condition was notably more severe in London. Out of 37 hospitals in the city, 25 (68%) received a substandard rating.
The Hillingdon hospital was one of the facilities mentioned. According to CQC inspectors, the hospital lacked sufficient staff to attend to patients and ensure their safety. They also neglected to answer phone calls and showed no signs of implementing improvements based on previous incidents reported by frontline staff outside of the affected ward.
The NHS trust’s representative stated that they have promptly taken steps to address the issues highlighted in the report and are continuously monitoring their services. The report also acknowledged the high quality of care and treatment provided, as well as the compassionate, kind, and respectful behavior of the staff.
York hospital, located outside of the capital, also received a low rating from the CQC. During inspections, it was discovered that patients brought in by ambulances were often forced to wait and receive treatment in the corridors due to ongoing construction. Additionally, the hospital lacked reliable measures to prevent healthcare-associated infections and there were visible stains on the floor in the waiting area.
Additionally, there were instances of delays in identifying sepsis or diagnosing it incorrectly, as well as delayed diagnosis of ovarian or testicular cancer.
A representative for the NHS trust of the hospital stated that they are collaborating with the CQC to address the suggestions. However, they noted that certain issues were due to temporary construction, and a subsequent visit revealed that the department’s premises and tools were now cleaner.
Inspections conducted by the CQC uncovered that approximately 25% of surgical departments in England were not meeting required standards. In July, the Observer disclosed that nearly 50% of maternity services in NHS hospitals were deemed inadequate. The inspection process was implemented in August of last year following a government investigation into severe mishaps in NHS care in Shropshire, resulting in the death or brain damage of 300 infants.
Nicola Wise, CQC’s director for secondary and specialist health care, said: “There are many hospitals providing high-quality, safe and effective services, but sadly that isn’t the case everywhere.
We utilize various sources of information and knowledge to monitor and ensure high standards of quality and safety. If we have any concerns or discover indications of potential harm to individuals, we have a variety of measures at our disposal to take action if needed.
According to a representative from the Department of Health and Social Care, efforts are being made in partnership with the CQC to guarantee that all hospitals are meeting the expected level of care. They also stated that there is a budget of up to £14.1bn allocated over the next two years to reduce waiting lists and enhance care services.