Whipps Cross Hospital ‘improving’ two years after special measures

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Whipps Cross University HospitalImage copyright PA
Image caption The CQC standards in surgery at the hospital were still inadequate

An east London hospital has begun to show signs of improvement two years after being placed in special measures.

An unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in May found Whipps Cross hospital, part of the Bart’s Health NHS Trust, requires improvement.

The hospital had previously been rated inadequate in July 2016.

Barts Health NHS Trust remains in special measures, as it has been since May 2015.

In its latest inspection the CQC looked at three core services at Whipps Cross: end of life care, outpatients and diagnostics services and surgery.

The first two were rated as “requires improvement” but the CQC still rated surgery as “inadequate”.

Wound infections

The CQC said it found limited evidence of improvements to the surgical service to make it safer for patients and more responsive to their needs.

It added areas of concern highlighted during its last inspection still needed to be addressed.

Surgical site infection (SSI) data was not followed up which meant the hospital did not know how many wound infections occurred after patients were discharged.

Theatre cancellations were happening on the day of surgery due to lack of available beds and over-running and late starting theatre lists.

The report also raised concerns about infection control, daily cleaning checks, the cleanliness of some equipment and a lack of evidence of cleaning audits.

Bed shortages on wards also meant recovery areas were regularly used to nurse patients overnight.

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “I am pleased that Whipps Cross University Hospital does now seem to be going in the right direction and there are signs of improvement.

“I want to see this continuing in the future so that the trust’s ratings improve across the board.

“Most patients we spoke with told us their experiences of care were positive. We saw that staff treated patients with compassion and demonstrated a genuinely kind and caring attitude.”

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