BOSSES at Queen Alexandra Hospital have been told that they must urgently improve the way A&E operates.
Four conditions have been imposed on the hospital’s emergency department to ‘reduce the risk of patients being exposed to harm’.
People living in Portsmouth are entitled to an emergency service that is safe, effective and responsive.Professor Sir Mike Richards
The order has come from the inspectors at the Care Quality Commission, who visited in February.
The CQC said Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital in Cosham, must make immediate improvements to A&E.
n ensuring patients are assessed, treated and seen by specialist in an appropriate and timely way to reduce the risk to patients.
n not using the large multi-occupancy ambulance, known as the jumbulance, to accommodate emergency patients unless there was a major incident which required extra support.
n ensuring there is effective leadership within the emergency department with the authority to ensure decisions were made.
n taking swift and appropriate action in response to problems as they occurred.
The trust must also provide weekly reports regarding waiting times, breaches and identified incidents.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said: ‘People living in Portsmouth are entitled to an emergency service that is safe, effective and responsive.
‘While I can appreciate that Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has been under considerable pressure, when we inspected we found too many people waiting too long for attention in the emergency department.
‘We found that the trust was failing to manage emergency admissions which meant that at times the local ambulance trust had a number of ambulances queuing outside the hospital.
‘This in turn was affecting the ambulance service’s ability to respond.’
As previously reported in The News South Central Ambulance Service had 16 vehicles queuing outside the emergency department of QA at the end of February.
Patients were waiting for more than an hour to be transferred from the ambulance to A&E.
Professor Richards added: ‘The emergency department was overcrowded and patients were not being treated in a timely manner.
‘Inevitably this presents a risk to their safety, which is why I have placed specific conditions upon the trust.’
A spokeswoman from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said they were complying with all the requirements imposed.
‘The trust has appointed a new executive director for the emergency care pathway and it has made further changes in the emergency department since the CQC inspection,’ she said.
The unannounced inspection was carried in February on the day the ambulances were seen queuing.
The full inspection report is expected to published next month.