Action plan needed to address staff levels and patient care at Weston Hospital

Shortages of staff at Weston Hospital could mean patients do not get the right care or treatment, a new report has found.
West Hospital

However since the Care Quality Commission inspection was carried out in March, some of these vacancies have been filled and consistent staff cover has been booked to cover roles.

The inspection came about to due to concerns raised about the safety of patients due to considerable staff shortages and the impact of this on the quality of care and treatment.

Healthwatch is keen to hear your experiences of care at the hospital and will send any feedback to the CQC, which has asked for an action plan to be put in place to ensure improvements are made.

The Trust merged with University Hospitals Bristol to become University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust in April last year and did not have time to implement all the improvements it had planned due to the impact of Covid-19.

Deirdre Fowler, Chief Nurse at the Trust, said: “A new cohort of registered nurses has been recruited and is due to join Weston over the next six months, and we are actively working to recruit more doctors. While we expect to reduce our vacancies from current levels, we are block booking temporary staff in the meantime so that the same professionals provide continuity of care.”

Full CQC report on the website

We sympathise with patients, carers and families who have not received the care they should have at Weston Hospital over the past year, as highlighted by the CQC inspection reported yesterday from March 2021. Our sympathy also goes to hospital staff who have clearly seen challenging times and have reported they do not feel respected, supported, or valued. The CQC says the trust must act to employ enough staff to safely care for patients at all times, and provide adequate supervision, and training. We welcome this report and will continue to send regular feedback from the public to the CQC, so that together we can monitor progress.
— Our Area Manager, Vicky Marriott

 

The CQC report published on May 12 said: “The service did not have enough permanent medical staff at all levels to meet the recommended guidance. The majority of the medical staff at senior level were employed on a locum basis. There was also a shortage of permanent nursing or therapy staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep people safe from harm and provide the right care and treatment.”

Consultant numbers posed a concern. "There were not enough substantive consultants within the medicine service at Weston Hospital to ensure there was enough time for patient review and for the required support of junior staff. The service had only four substantive consultant posts out of 12 filled."

Full CQC report on the website

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