Watchdog’s recommendations are welcomed by N&N hospital chief

Anna Dugdale, chief executive at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Photo: Bill Smith.

Anna Dugdale, chief executive at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Photo: Bill Smith. - Credit: Archant © 2008

Staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will work hard to improve care after a snap inspection by a health watchdog raised a series of concerns.

Anna Dugdale, chief executive of the trust, welcomed the findings of the report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after it conducted the unannounced visit in March, which was prompted by concerns over some aspects of standards in the treatment of patients.

Its report, published yesterday, called for:

An improvement to the trust's cancer services.

A strategy for patient flow and access in the emergency department.

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Ms Dugdale said: 'We are grateful for the recommendations of the CQC on areas where we can improve our services further and our staff will work through these to see how they can be implemented to benefit patients.

'We are pleased that the CQC has found that the care given to our patients is of high quality and meets the relevant national standards relating to respect and dignity.'

In its report, the CQC said leadership within the trust was 'fragmented' and the capacity and target pressures led to the Board being too operationally focused.

The inspectors found staff provided compassionate and respectful care, and patients were looked after safely while waiting for transfer or discharge from the emergency department.

The trust had successfully eased some of the pressure on the emergency department by introducing a single point of access reception to direct around 30 patients each day to the urgent care centre.

However, the inspectors found pressure was applied by executive staff to manage the service in ways not agreed by department staff.

To address handover delays experienced by ambulance staff the hospital had increased its number of bays from 15 to 18, and an area of a corridor was used temporarily by patients waiting.

In February the trust only met 84.78pc of its 31-day surgery target. The acceptable national target is 94pc. It also underperformed in meeting the 62-day GP referral target, achieving only 73.88pc against a national target of 85pc.

But there was no proof of patients having adverse outcomes despite the target breach.

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