Improvements still needed at Lincolnshire hospitals

Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital
Image caption The unannounced inspections were carried out in June after the hospitals were placed in special measures

Two hospitals in northern Lincolnshire still need to improve the care they offer, inspectors have found.

Grimsby's Diana Princess of Wales Hospital and Scunthorpe General were visited unannounced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June.

Inspections in 2016 had led to the hospitals being issued with a warning notice.

The CQC said: "The trust had not taken sufficient, timely action to address all our concerns."

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Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the two hospitals, was rated as inadequate following an inspection in November 2016 and placed into special measures in April.

During the June visits, inspectors assessed the maternity and gynaecology units and emergency services at both hospitals.

The CQC found some improvements had been made in Scunthorpe with the opening of a new children's area and better cleaning in the emergency unit.

In Grimsby, it concluded the maternity unit had improved its equipment checks and had better patient record keeping.

However, concerns were raised over the management of deteriorating patients and staffing levels in the maternity and emergency departments.

'Long journey ahead'

Prof Ted Baker, chief inspector of hospitals, said: "Whilst we saw improvements had been made, particularly within maternity services, there is still work to be done.

"However, we know that the trust takes our concerns very seriously and we are working closely with them to assure the safety of patients whilst these improvements are being made."

Dr Peter Reading, chief executive at the trust, said the hospitals had launched an improvement programme.

"We are pleased that the CQC have recognised the improvements that we are making," he said.

"We have already made a number of improvements within our maternity and emergency care services but we are by no means complacent and know we have a long journey ahead of us."

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