Weston General A&E remains 'inadequate' after warnings

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Weston General HospitalImage source, Weston area health trust
Image caption,
The Care Quality Commission's inspection focused on points raised earlier in the year in a warning notice

A hospital A&E department has remained "inadequate" after warnings over urgent and emergency care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported a lack of support for staff and safety concerns in Weston General hospital's A&E department.

Dr Nigel Acheson, deputy chief inspector of hospitals for the South NHS , said it was "disappointing".

Weston Area Health NHS Trust "fully recognises that while improvements have been made... further work is required."

Save Weston A&E campaigners said they hoped it would not lead to further reductions to its A&E services.

The campaign group has opposed the overnight closure of the department, which has been shut between the hours of 22:00 and 08:00 since April 2017.

Staff shortages

The Care Quality Commission rated the department "inadequate" in February and gave it five months to improve. 

Concerns regarding the warning notice issued to the trust in April 2019 prompted the recent CQC inspection.

The warning notice set out concerns within Weston General Hospital's A&E and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

The report acknowledged that advised measures set out by the CQC in the warning notice - to improve safety of young people, methods of record keeping and access to resources in Weston General's CAMHS - had been met.

However, other advised improvements - to address increasing demand for services, poor patient flow and continuing staff shortages in A&E - had not been met.

In the report, a newly-qualified nurse told CQC they were "not adequately supported" when carrying out work in the A&E departments.

"They were sometimes asked to perform procedures which they had not received training to perform," the report said.

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Peter Collins, the trust's medical director said it had made "significant progress since the CQC inspection in September 2019.

"We continue to address these issues to strengthen governance and supervision, and will maintain our focus on enhancing the learning and development opportunities for nursing and medical staff."

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