Hospital bosses told to improve after some services found wanting

South Tyneside Hospital
South Tyneside Hospital

Bosses at South Tyneside’s hospital have been told to improve by health watchdogs.

South Tyneside Foundation Trust has been told it “requires improvement” after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The Trust is already working with partners in South Tyneside to help prevent unnecessary A&E attendances and admissions and reduce delays in the system. Steve Williamson, Chief Executive

Peter Davidson

The inspection team visited South Tyneside District Hospital, in Harton Lane, South Shields, in May and June, and concluded some of the services provided were not up to scratch.

They discovered “outstanding practice” in the care of cancer patients and in the level of care and compassion for patients and their relatives.

But the CQC report said the team found a “lack of capacity” in the intensive care unit and, despite a recent increase in nursing staff, there were not enough doctors and, on some wards, the number of nurses was “below safe levels.”

The report also said the trust must review compliance with mandatory training, particularly in safeguarding, medical device management, medicines management and Mental Capacity Act and deprivation of liberty safeguards;

It has also been told to ensure the consistent use of the World Health Organisation’s surgical safety checklist and review how the flow of patients is managed through the emergency department – including how they deal with patients waiting for more than four hours for transfer to a ward;

The watchdog also wants to see improvements that ensure appropriate support systems are available if critical care patients are nursed in the recovery room and assurances over appropriate staffing on all children’s inpatient areas, particularly the special care baby unit.

Steve Williamson, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Foundation Trust said: “We welcome all feedback in relation to our services and always take it on board so we can give our patients, and their families and carers, the very best experience.

“Nearly two-thirds of CQC hospital inspections across the country since the start of the new inspection process have resulted in an overall assessment of ‘requires improvement’, which does not mean that services are unsafe but that CQC have identified areas where further improvements can be made.

“In our case, we have had action plans in place for some time to improve in areas identified by the CQC in their report.”

Trust ‘outstanding’ for patient care

South Tyneside Foundation Trust was rated as “outstanding” for patient care.

The trust runs community services across South Tyneside, Sunderland and Gateshead and was found to be one of the best performing hospitals in England for the experience of cancer patients and had an “outstanding” level of “care and compassion” for patients and their families using community end of life services.

Every aspect of the trust’s community services was rated “good” or “outstanding.”
Peter Davidson, chairman of the trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the CQC have rated the quality of the caring in our trust as ‘outstanding’. “It is very positive to see the recognition that our staff are passionately committed to treating patients with such exceptional compassion, dignity and respect.”