CQC inspect Queen Alexandra Hospital after 'increasing concerns' over management of medicines

A HEALTH watchdog inspected the city’s hospital after ‘increasing concerns’ over the management of medicines – including expired stock mixed with patients’ own medication and controlled drugs.

By Millie Salkeld
Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 6:00 pm
Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 9:43 am

The Care Quality Commission inspected Queen Alexandra Hospital in July after two incidents were reported through national systems, one of which was related to a controlled drug, and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU) sent a direct notification to the watchdog.

PHU received its first ever Good rating from the CQC in January this year but bosses acknowledged there was still work to do.

The report, which was published yesterday, read: ‘We carried out a short notice announced focused inspection of medicines management in response to increasing concerns highlighted by the incidents reported through national reporting systems and received by direct notification from the trust.

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‘Following the most recent inspection, published in January 2020, there was a should action relating to the adequate storage of medicines to avoid medicines errors in the medical care core service.

‘We had found some inner locked controlled drug cupboards were untidy and controlled drugs were mixed with expired stocks and patients’ own medicines.

‘During this inspection we found improvements regarding medicines management, safe storage of controlled drugs and patients own medicines.’

While inspectors noted examples of good practice, including training given to staff from practice educators, they said that there were some areas for improvement.

The report read: ‘We saw variable adherence to trust policy regarding the security of keys for drug cabinets.

‘We found there was an inconsistent approach across the trust relating to medicines and the discharge process. We saw examples of poor compliance with prescribing and nurse record-keeping best practice on insulin charts.

‘In one department we found a discrepancy with the recording of internal prescription forms.’

Dr John Knighton, medical director at the trust, said he welcomed the report and recognition that there had been ‘improvements’.

He said: ‘Inspectors have also highlighted staff training in medicines management developed and delivered by our practice educators as an area of good practice.

‘These improvements demonstrate the absolute commitment of individuals and teams across the organisation to ensuring our patients continue to receive the best possible care.

‘While we continue to make progress, there is still more for us to do and we already have plans in place to address the areas for improvement highlighted in the report.’

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