Bosses at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital have this afternoon apologised after a damning inspection report criticised care and staffing levels.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) findings revealed that the hospital was failing to meet nine care standards examined during three days of assessments carried out in May.
The report said the hospital had not met legal requirements to ensure that staff were acting in the best interests of patients who were unable to consent to treatment and found there were not enough qualified or skilled staff to meet patient needs.
Inspectors also found there was not an effective system in place to regularly assess the quality of the service given to the public.
Other concerns related to patients being treated with appropriate dignity and respect, treatment not always meeting clinical need, a backlog of people waiting to be discharged, unsafe storage of medicines including out of date stocks, inadequate responses to complaints and risk preventions.
Andrea Gordon, the CQC’s deputy director of operations, said: “Although our inspectors saw some good practice, the failings we found at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital are a real concern.
“We have been working closely with our partner agencies with regard to the trust and we will be closely monitoring its progress on the improvements it needs to make.”
Kate Gordon, the chairman of the trust’s board of directors, said the hospital was “very sorry” that some patients had received poor care and pledged that efforts to recruit additional staff would continue for the rest of the year.
Extra money will also be spent on improvements to the accident and emergency unit, as well as recruiting additional consultants, while work to review staffing requirements for each ward is already underway.
And an independent review of management systems for dealing with issues of concern has also been commissioned.
She added: “We don’t want to pretend it isn’t bad. It is bad, but a lot of the work going on in this hospital is of the highest standard. Our patients ought to be confident of that and our staff should be recognised for that.”