‘Changes made’ to deal with Doncaster hospital safety concerns

Hospital bosses say they have put in place changes to sort out inspectors' concerns over safety at the emergency department.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 4:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 4:08 pm
Ambulances parked outside Doncaster Royal Infirmary's emergency department

Concerns were raised after an unannounced Care Quality Commission inspection of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals’ urgent and emergency care services between 27 and 29 November. They rated the facility as inadequate in the category ‘safe’.

But the most recent inspection maintains the trust’s rating of ‘Requires Improvement’, set at a wider inspection in 2017.

Ambulances parked outside Doncaster Royal Infirmary's emergency department

Officials at the trust which runs the trust say all assessments and observations are done by trained and registered nurses, who are supported by staff who are available within the waiting area and assist patients if they need anything or their condition deteriorates and need help from a health professional.

Richard Parker OBE, chief executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, has defended the hospital’s performance. He said: “As a result of the initial feedback at the time of the inspection, we made immediate changes to our minor illness and minor injury pathway to ensure that the CQC's concerns regarding assessment and observation of patients were dealt with, with increased privacy when the initial assessment take place.

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“We are pleased that the CQC noted that our staff are caring, offer good levels of emotional support and ensure that individuals are seen in a timely manner and escalated appropriately. As was the case before the inspection, all observations and assessments in our services are carried out by trained and experienced nurses, while support staff known within the service are utilised within the minor injury and illness waiting area to assist patients and raise concerns should their condition deteriorate.

"The CQC’s feedback regarding the provision of paediatric staff is something we are acutely aware of, and we will be continuing our efforts to recruit to this particularly speciality which is affected by national shortages within this role. The Emergency Department team, and the whole Trust are committed to continuing to improve our services and we would expect to reverse the rating change when the CQC re-inspect the services.

“Over the last five years, as standards and demand on Emergency Departments nationwide have increased, we have continued to increase the number of trained health professionals in our Emergency Departments to meet the demands. In Doncaster, Mexborough and Worksop, we have 150 nurses, 50 doctors and around 120 trained support staff, all of whom work each and every day to provide the best possible care and treatment for our patients.

“Between November and January, our Urgent and Emergency Care services have cared for around 43,000 people. This has been one of the busiest winters ever experienced at the Trust, and we must thank colleagues for their remarkable dedication throughout.”

The Emergency Departments at Doncaster and Worksop care for an average of 103,000 and 50,000 patients respectively each year and are some of the busiest units of their kind in the region. Despite this, the services routinely performs within the top 20 for the four hour access target, with the Trust reaching 92.12% in quarter three of the year.