Express & Star

Safety standards 'inadequate' at Russells Hall Hospital, says damning report

Safety at the trust which runs Russells Hall Hospital has been labelled "inadequate" by the health watchdog in a damning report which has exposed serious issues over care.

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Dudley's Russells Hal Hospital

The Dudley Group NHS Trust has been rated "requires improvement" overall but told standards in its A&E department is not good enough.

Concerns have also been raised about sepsis treatment, patients being left in corridors in unsafe conditions and patients potentially being put at risk by x-rays, ultrasound and MRI scans.

It is the latest criticism from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and means the trust's rating has not improved since its last inspection two years ago.

The damaging report will also pile more pressure on Russells Hall's leadership team which has lurched from one crisis to another during a turbulent 12 months.

Details of the report come just days after the Express & Star revealed the Dudley Group was due to run out of money by September, meaning it would likely have to borrow cash.

Serious concerns were raised by the CQC following visits in January and the watchdog has said it must see improvements, "particularly around the safety and leadership of diagnostic imaging and the safety of urgent and emergency care".

Bosses have now been ordered to make a raft of improvements, including ensuring the emergency department is safe and preventing overcrowding.

The trust was, however, rated "good" for whether its services were effective and caring.

Professor Ted Baker, the CQC's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: "The safety of urgent and emergency care fell short of our expectations. Inconsistent and poor practice meant that not all patients received sepsis treatment in a timely manner. Not all patients were monitored and observed sufficiently to identify deterioration, and we were not assured that all patients allocated to wait on corridors were safe."

Dudley Group chief executive Diane Wake said: "Our overall rating remains the same at requires improvement and we are pleased that the hard work of our teams is paying off in our urgent and emergency services whose overall rating has improved to requires improvement.

"We are making steady progress across all of our services but we are, of course, disappointed that our diagnostic imaging services has been rated inadequate overall, and overall the Trust was inadequate for safe domain."