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'Inadequate' hospital told it must improve.

Byline: ANUJI VARMA Health Correspondent @anujivarma

WALSALL Manor Hospital is to be placed into special measures after the health watchdog found "serious problems" with its patient care.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said urgent improvements needed to be made to ensure the hospital delivered safe and effective care. It is now one of 16 hospitals in special measures across the country. Concerns raised by the CQC include staffing levels in a number of areas, with workloads in the A&E and maternity departments resulting in care falling below expected standards.

As a result, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, was given an "inadequate" rating, with the recommendation to be put into special measures.

Following the inspection, Professor Richards issued a warning to the trust demanding urgent improvement. He said: "We found a number of serious problems when we inspected the services run by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and I have made a recommendation to the Trust Development Authority (TDA) that the trust should be placed into special measures.

"Following our inspection we issued the trust with a warning setting out that significant improvement was immediately required in a number of areas including maternity services and emergency care. "However, we found that in many areas staff were dedicated and committed to patient care despite the pressures of staff shortages."

The inspection highlighted a number of concerns and areas where the trust must improve, including: | Adequate numbers of qualified staff needed to be made available across all services, particularly in maternity services and the emergency department; | Equipment needed to be kept in good working order and fit for purpose across all services; | Keeping all fire exits free from obstruction.

A hospital spokeswoman said: "The trust recognises that this is not good enough for our patients and is already taking urgent action to ensure we improve key services quickly, especially A&E and maternity. Improvements made already included increasing the midwife to birth ratio, with plans to further extend this, improved provision of pain relief in A&E, and training staff in the use of Do Not Attempt Resuscitation Orders.

"Further work would also be done in the emergency department, extending the delivery suite and maternity wards, recruiting more staff, constructing the new PS9 million Integrated Critical Care Unit (ICCU) and developing the PS3 million plan for the extension of its neonatal unit."


Walsall Manor Hospital is to be placed into special measures and, below left, Professor Sir Mike Richards

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 26, 2016
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