THE Care Quality Commission has imposed an urgent legal restriction on the registration of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, preventing the use of the day surgical unit at Pinderfields Hospital for patient stays in excess of 23 hours.
This action follows an unannounced visit to the hospital by inspectors on Wednesday 5 September in response to concerns received that the specialist day unit was being used to provide longer term care, without the resources necessary to support this type of service.
CQC found that a number of patients had stayed on the day surgery unit for over 24 hours during July and August 2012. In some cases patients had stayed on the unit for 4 days or longer.
There was no direct access to washing facilities on the unit and patients were washing from disposable cardboard bowls.
There was no night lighting installed on the unit. Staff explained that if patients were to be admitted through the night, which records showed was a frequent occurrence, full lighting on the ward had to be turned on disturbing other patients’ sleep.
Inspectors were concerned to find there were no inpatient catering facilities on the unit and only sandwiches, and more recently microwave meals, were available to patients.
Patients had no bedside storage available for their personal possessions. Inspectors found patients’ belongings left on the floor at the side of the bed.
Inspectors were concerned about the unsecured access to the adjacent theatre area and the potential hazard this posed for patients and visitors.
Malcolm Bower-Brown, deputy director of the CQC in the North said: “The failings we witnessed on this unit at Pinderfields Hospital were completely unacceptable. CQC took swift action following our inspection to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients.
“The decision to place an urgent condition on a provider’s registration is not one we take lightly. However, when we find poor practice, as we did in this case, we will take immediate action to ensure patients are not at risk.
“We are heartened by the Trust’s rapid and positive response to our action and they are working closely in partnership with other agencies to address the issues of concern. However we will continue to monitor the position closely and, if necessary, will not hesitate to take further action to ensure patients receive the service they are entitled to expect.
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