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Action plan to combat damning CQC report on Bridport Community Hospital
BRIDPORT Community Hospital failed to meet five out of six essential standards, according to a hard-hitting report from the Care Quality Commission.
Staff were “worked to death”, a patient told inspectors on an unannounced visit earlier this year.
Staff shortages meant that some patients were not washed until after lunch and inspectors studying staff rotas found that over a four week period, staffing levels on Ryeberry ward fell below the set minimum levels on half a dozen separate occasions.
Now an action plan which has seen extra nurses join the hard-pressed staff has been put in place and hospital bosses pledge that they are always looking at ways to improve patient care.
The report from the CQC, which regulates health and social care in England, found that the hospital did not have enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs.
It was also not achieving safe and appropriate care meeting patients’ needs and supporting their rights, patients were not protected from risk of abuse, checking systems were not in place to manage risks and assure patients’ health, welfare and safety and medical and personal records were not accurate.
The hospital did meet the required standard for seeking patients’ consent to care and treatment.
Inspectors reported that despite the failings, patients spoke highly of the care they received and of the staff.
One patient said: “Of all the hospitals I have been in, this is a step above the rest.”
Another told the team: “They really look after me here.”
But when it came to staffing levels, patients said at times, there were insufficient nurses on duty.
One said: “The staff are worked to death. There’s not enough and mornings and evenings are the worst.”
One staff member said that at times they had to rotate the order in which patients were washed to be fair.
Valerie Graves, Director of Community Health Services for Dorset HealthCare said: “We are happy that we are now meeting the requirements of the Care Quality Commission at Bridport Community Hospital and it is important to say that we are very proud of the quality of the nursing staff working at the hospital and the high level of care they provide to local patients.
“However, we are always looking at ways to improve this patient care. Therefore, even before the inspection in April, one of our priorities was to increase our staffing levels, which we have now done.
“Recruiting the right person, for a role which requires a great deal of care and compassion, can take time and we go to great lengths to employ the very best nursing staff possible.
“I’m pleased to confirm we now have three new, fully trained and full-time staff nurses who have joined our existing team of nurses and nursing assistants across our two wards.
“This means that we now have an extra qualified member of staff on each shift and we will continue to look at how we can support and boost our nursing team.
“In addition, a new activities coordinator has just started working at the hospital. The new position not only means a regular schedule of therapeutic activities for patients but also that our occupational therapists and physiotherapists have some additional support in the afternoons.
“We have also introduced clear guidelines for ward staff to escalate any issues such as unexpected staff illness, especially during weekends and nights, so that an action plan can be implemented to ensure we are not under-staffed.”
Ms Graves also pointed out that many of the patients’ comments were very favourable.
“We hope to see even more positive feedback in the future,” she added.
Dorset Healthcare was required to report its action plan to the CQC and a follow-up inspection will take place.
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