Bedford Hospital improves after Care Quality Commission concerns

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A hospital that had sanctions imposed after inspectors found a string of faults has been ruled "fully compliant" in seven of the eight problem areas.

Bedford Hospital has had the sanctions lifted and warning notices removed.

In July Care Quality Commission inspectors criticised areas including patient respect, care, nutrition, safety and staffing levels.

The hospital is now "compliant" in all the fields but minor concern remains about systems of quality monitoring.

The hospital was told it needs to embed its new processes in this area.

'Respectful and caring'

The summer inspection also found faults with co-operation with other providers and worker support.

In July inspectors visited the hospital's stroke unit, accident and emergency department and two of the three elderly care wards over four days.

They said the hospital failed to ensure enough suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff were on duty.

The unannounced re-inspection took place at the end of November and assessed the same standards as in July.

But this time inspectors visited 10 wards and departments and found significant improvements.

"We found staff treated patients in a dignified manner, and were respectful and caring in their approach," their report said.

'Not complacent'

More than 30 patients, or their relatives, and 60 staff were spoken to and the inspectors were satisfied their demands had been met.

"The trust had restructured governance systems and developed additional committees to monitor specific areas of quality and safety," the report noted.

"Although not fully compliant in this area, improvements were so significant we considered the impact to be greatly reduced."

Chief executive Stephen Conroy said: "We took the summer report as an opportunity for a really thorough review of how we work and the type of care environment we provide for our patients.

"I am not complacent about the work we still have to do."

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