Staffing levels and sepsis screening and management are two key areas identified for improvement at Walsall Manor Hospital following Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections within its Emergency Department and Maternity Services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In its report being published today, Tuesday 17 November 2020, the CQC’s overall rating for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust remains the same – Requires Improvement, with care rated as “Outstanding”.
In ED, inspectors reported that the documentation of sepsis screening and management needed to be more robust and raised concerns over the detail in patient records and documentation.
Ann-Marie Riley, Walsall Healthcare’s Director of Nursing, said: “Immediate actions were put in place to mitigate risk which will remain in place until a planned digital solution is embedded. The trust continues to work with staff, patients and families to raise awareness of sepsis and has also held a number of training sessions around deteriorating patients to focus this effort further.
“The CQC also stated that the service did not have enough nursing staff to provide the right care and treatment. The team is doing all it can to fill any rota gaps and reduce vacancies; this includes a rolling advert for registered nurses.”
In maternity whilst the CQC acknowledged that the service had enough staff, with the right mix of qualifications and skills, to keep patients safe and provide the right care and treatment, inspectors were concerned that systems for monitoring the provision of staffing were not robust enough.
The CQC has downgraded the trust’s rating from Good to Requires Improvement under the well-led domain in Urgent and Emergency Services and Maternity Services as a result of a lack of assurance that the trust had the right information systems in place.
Inspections were carried out on 8 and 9 September as part of the CQC’s more targeted and focused regulatory approach in response to the pandemic.
The report also highlights the need to drive the trust’s mandatory training levels up higher.
Inspectors noted in ED that staff felt “respected, supported and valued” and the service had “an open culture” where patients, families and staff could raise concerns without fear. Staff felt “positive and proud” to work in Maternity Services and supported to develop in their roles with leaders appreciating the day to day pressures they faced.
Walsall Healthcare’s Chief Executive Richard Beeken said: “This year has seen an unparalleled demand on the services we provide as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“The response of our staff, along with key workers across the country, has been nothing sort of phenomenal, in circumstances that go far beyond “challenging.” The pace has been relentless and the impact that the pandemic has made, and continues to make, has taken its toll in many areas – this includes staffing.
“That said, we are disappointed to have gone down a rating in well-led. We have made it clear that our ambition is to become a trust that is rated outstanding by 2022 and that focus has not wavered, despite these testing times. We know we still have a long way to go to ensure that our services are the best and safest they can be for all the communities we serve and our commitment to achieving this remains.”