Basildon University Hospital has taken immediate steps to change the way it delivers some of its children’s services.
The changes, alongside the commission of an independent investigation into paediatric services at the hospital, have taken place following an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on 3 November 2012.
This inspection has resulted in two warning notices being issued against the Trust following concerns around issues including a lack of senior medical staff availability particularly after 5pm and at weekends; some children having to wait longer than recommended to be seen by a doctor after being seen by a nurse on arrival at the children’s assessment unit; and reviewing expire dates on medicines.
Clare Panniker, Chief Executive of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I want to assure the local community that we are absolutely committed to improving the standards of care which we deliver to children.
“By commissioning a review of our paediatric services we can be sure we are looking at every area to best meet their needs.”
A number of immediate changes have also been made to address the most pressing areas of concern.
- more senior staff – including consultants, doctors and nurses – being on duty at all times, especially out of hours (after 5pm and at weekends)
- a new, dedicated team of nursing staff with additional senior doctor presence in the Paediatric Assessment Unit
- the introduction of weekly unannounced spot checks to ensure clinical practice standards, including checking expiry dates on medication, are being followed
- the re-issuing of guidance to all Trust staff explaining how to report concerns they may have and a review of this system to make sure it works correctly.
Clare added: “We need to do better to ensure that every child who comes to Basildon Hospital gets good, high quality, safe care only by doing this will we address the CQC’s concerns.”