Trust rapped over ward care

Stephen Eames.
Stephen Eames.

THE trust which runs Pontefract Hospital has received an official warning from a health watchdog for poor standards of care on one of its wards.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued a warning notice to Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust over standards at ward two at Dewsbury District Hospital, a medical ward for older 

Stephen Eames, the trust’s interim chief executive, issued an apology and said immediate steps had been taken to address the issues raised.

He said: “I would like to apologise unreservedly to the patients and families of those whose care has clearly not been good enough.

“We are taking this issue very seriously and we put an action plan in place as soon as we became aware of the CQC’s concerns to ensure care is safe and to a high standard.

“I can report that those accountable for the poor standards of care have been held to account and we have put new leadership in place.”

The failings came to light during an unannounced inspection from the CQC on July 3 to 5, of maternity units and discharge lounges at both Pinderfields Hospital and Dewsbury Hospital, ward two and ward five at Dewsbury, which is an acute medical ward. Pontefract Hospital was not inspected.

Mr Eames said ward two had been set up as a temporary ward to cope with increased admissions during winter and was due to close within the next two weeks, with new patients no longer being admitted to the ward. The CQC will revisit the ward in coming weeks to ensure the action plan has resolved the issues.

He added: “Clearly all this will be distressing news for patients currently receiving care on ward two. My colleagues have spoken to those patients, as well as their families and carers to reassure them we are taking this seriously and we have already taken action to improve standards.”

However, the same inspection praised both maternity and discharge lounge services at both hospitals, with a report to be published next week stating “all of the women spoken with on the maternity unit were positive about the care they received and the level to which they were involved in and kept informed about decisions about their care”.

Maternity services at Dewsbury came under fire from the CQC earlier this year. However, Mr Eames added: “Staff in the maternity unit and discharge lounge should be very proud of themselves after receiving this excellent feedback. I think this gives a great testament to staff and clincial service managers, particularly those in Dewsbury’s maternity unit, who’ve worked hard to make improvments since they received the CQC warning notice earlier this year.”