Conditions at Good Hope and Solihull hospitals have been branded ‘unacceptable’ after an inspection revealed a shortage of midwives, problems in critical care and staff shortage on elderly wards.
A report, published by the Care Quality Commission, also outlined specific problems in Good Hope Hospital’s A&E Department.
The document stated: “Patients found the department’s staff caring. However, we saw episodes when people’s privacy and dignity were not respected and care was delayed because of shortages of staff within the department.”
Two patients’ calls for help were ignored by nearby staff because they were busy with other tasks, inspectors revealed. Daily checks on emergency equipment also failed to take place.
The report flagged up concerns ‘shortages of staff had an impact on the care of women and children’ at Good Hope. There were too few midwives and a lack of trained doctors in children’s care.
The inspection team, which included doctors, nurses and hospital managers, spent four days with the Heart of England NHS Trust in November, 2013.
The critical care unit at Solihull was flagged-up over a lack of appropriate training. Inspectors were also concerned over nurse numbers.
Fiona Allinson, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: “The concerns CQC found were unacceptable and we have warned the trust it must improve.
“CQC will continue to monitor the service closely and our inspectors will be returning unannounced to check on whether improvements have been made and standards are being met.”
Dr Mark Newbold, trust chief executive, said: “I fully accept the findings of the CQC report.
“It is well known that we are under great pressure in our emergency departments and I and the trust board are putting all our efforts behind a number of major initiatives to bring about improvement.”
The Trust has been issued a warning notice to make the improvements by February 21.