CQC raises concerns on staffing numbers at Gosport hospital

Gosport War Memorial Hospital. Picture: Press Association.
Gosport War Memorial Hospital. Picture: Press Association.

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CONCERNS have been raised on low staffing numbers and infection procedures at a community health facility.

During an inspection of services run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found there insufficient staffing on some wards at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

We are confident we have clear safer staffing and escalation procedures in place at Gosport War Memorial Hospital

Sara Courtney

The report, published last week, found overall Southern Health had made improvements but still highlighted some problems.

It said: ‘At this inspection we had concerns about some aspects of care at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

‘In some areas, there was insufficient staff to meet the assessed needs of patients.

‘Staff did not always store or administer medicines in line with manufacturer’s guidelines, staff did not consistently adhere to the trust’s infection control policy and not all staff had a good understanding of mental capacity assessments.’

It added the trust must assess staff caseloads in the Gosport team and have appropriate measures in place to ensure staffing levels are safe for every shift.

They must also ensure all staff follow effective infection control procedures when dealing with and disposing of infected materials.

Sara Courtney, interim director of nursing at Southern Health, said: ‘We are confident we have clear safer staffing and escalation procedures in place at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, as we do across the trust.

‘Staffing levels are monitored and responded to on a daily basis ensuring patients are kept safe.

‘Like the rest of the NHS, we do have challenges to recruit certain grades and healthcare professionals to this geographical area.

‘We have a number of vacancies at Gosport War Memorial Hospital and recruitment plans are in place to make sure we are attracting staff with the most appropriate skills.’

As previously reported in The News, in its report looking at the trust, the CQC found changes had been made in the trust’s care of patients but there were still areas that needed further work.

Paul Lelliott, lead for mental health at the health watchdog, said they were heading in the right direction.

Ms Courtney added: ‘We welcome the CQC’s report which recognises the notable improvements we have made after our concerted efforts to improve care for patients.

‘We have clear plans to improve each area that the CQC has highlighted and fully accept that we do have more work to do.

‘We continue to work closely with partner organisations to ensure safe transfer of all patients into our community hospital beds.’