Birmingham & Black Country

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals trust safety 'inadequate'

Sandwell General Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption Sandwell General Hospital and City Hospital in Birmingham are run by the trust

The safety of services at a trust running two hospitals has been rated "inadequate" by a health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) made a number of recommendations including ensuring nursing staffing levels were safe at Sandwell General Hospital and City Hospital in Birmingham.

It also called for improvements in A&E, medical care and surgery.

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust said it is "working hard already to address the issues".

Care at the trust was given an overall rating of "requires improvement".

The CQC said: "The trust was rated as 'inadequate' with regard to whether [it] was always providing a service that is safe."

CQC recommendations

Image copyright Google
  • Ensure nursing staff levels are safe
  • Ensure all staff consistently report incidents
  • Store information which could identify patients securely
  • Follow up and act on safety audits
  • Address systemic gaps in patient assessment records
  • Improve staff understanding of isolation procedures

Source: CQC inspection between 14-17 and 25-30 October

The trust said the report made for "difficult reading".

Chief executive Toby Lewis said: "The areas of improvement identified in the report are not a surprise to us at the trust, even where they are disappointing, or make difficult reading."

CQC's chief inspector, Prof Sir Mike Richards, said: "While we witnessed areas of good practice it is clear that the trust has work to do to make improvements which are sustainable long term."

Inspectors will return to check whether the necessary changes have taken place and the CQC will continue to monitor the trust "closely".

Mr Lewis said: "During the CQC visit, inspectors saw some individual examples of poor practice in some departments around hand washing, security of medicines and completion of patient records."

He said these individual examples "are not acceptable" and it is up to the trust leadership to ensure it gets "the basics right, first time, every time for every patient".

Trust services rated "outstanding"

  • The iCares service, which supports people with long term conditions in the community
  • The diabetic service
  • End of life care relating to children and young people

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