SERVICES across University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) have been handed a ‘requires improvement’ rating by the CQC.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) made an unannounced visit in June following concerns over the quality of service at a number of hospitals in the Trust including Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QE).
The emergency department at Heartlands was under significant pressure at the time of the visit, the CQC said.
Inspectors found patients waiting to be seen were not always monitored effectively, and safety checks on equipment were not always completed.
They also said appropriate steps were not consistently being taken to ensure patient safety when lack of space led to them waiting outside in ambulances, despite staff raising concerns.
Fiona Allinson, CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “We also found variation in the extent to which staff felt respected, valued and supported to carry out their roles, with some staff telling us their concerns about patient care were not listened to or acted upon.
“There were concerning disparities in processes and guidance across hospital sites since the acquisition of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in 2018, and some staff expressed concern about the impact of this on patient safety.”
Inspectors however rated the cancer service at the QE as outstanding.
Prof David Rosser, chief executive at UHB, said: “The findings of the report reinforce the challenges we are aware of, and are actively addressing, particularly in supporting our emergency departments, where we continue to experience extraordinary demand.
“The Trust has needed to ask far more of the workforce than we ever would in ordinary circumstances.
“Sadly and despite the herculean efforts of the team, patients are now waiting longer to access care.
“The Trust is already implementing plans to tackle these waits which include both increasing capacity and transforming the way we deliver care.”