University's concerns over Russells Hall Hospital student placements after CQC inspection

Bosses from the University of Wolverhampton have raised concerns about placing students at Russells Hall Hospital following a damning report by the health watchdog, it has emerged.

Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley
Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley

University leaders "escalated concerns" about their students being in the heat of the emergency and radiology departments after criticism from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) earlier this year.

The damning assessment by the CQC caused concern at the university, which scrutinised the report after it was published by the health regulator.

Hospital chiefs have since tried to reassure education officials that Russells Hall is a suitable environment for them to learn in.

The Dudley Group NHS Trust, which runs Russells Hall, describes itself as a "teaching trust" on its website and caters for up to 450 medical students a year. This also includes students from the University of Birmingham.

Emergency and radiology were two of the areas which raised most concern among CQC inspectors earlier this year.

Their report, published in July, labelled safety as "inadequate" and said patients were potentially being put at risk by x-rays, ultrasound and MRI scans, as the trust was rated "requires improvement" overall, the second-lowest rating.

The trust said discussions were ongoing with university officials to try and ease their concerns. The university's concerns were revealed by chief nurse Mary Sexton in a report to trust board members.

Her report said: "University of Wolverhampton has escalated concerns following their review of the CQC report in particular related to students’ allocations to imaging and ED (emergency department).

"We are awaiting the outcome of discussions with university heads of department and trust nursing heads. The team has sent information to the university outlining the measures taken by the trust to address concerns that were raised in the CQC report."

When approached by the Express & Star about the university's concerns, Ms Sexton said: "Discussions between department heads at the University of Wolverhampton and our heads of nursing are ongoing.

"The university has raised no further concerns about the placement of students in the emergency and radiology departments."

Trust chief executive Diane Wake has since said improvements have been made.

A university spokeswoman said: “Whenever an adverse CQC report is published we always seek to gain assurances from hospital trusts as part of our procedures.

This is to ensure that our students who are out on placement are receiving the necessary support and supervision as required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. This course of action was supported by the trust and we currently have no concerns about our students.”

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