Seventeen NHS hospitals dangerously understaffed
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has this month issued 17 hospitals across the UK with warnings as a result of a series of inspections that found them to be “dangerously understaffed”.
In light of the reports released by the health body, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt issued a statement last night calling for “swift action” to be taken by those hospitals that had been singled out as failing to meet the necessary safety standards.
These revelations come at a time when the NHS is facing mounting pressure to address rising concerns amongst the public over the ability of hospitals to maintain the safety and dignity of their patients.
Indeed, later this month the long awaited report over the public enquiry into the Stafford Hospital Scandal is due to be released, meaning questions regarding initial accounts that hundreds of patients had died needlessly as a result of under-staffing, lack of equipment and suspected negligence are sure to be raised.
Back in November 2012, NursingTimes.net published the findings of 13,000 inspections that had been carried out by the CQC from 2011-12. With results revealing that almost a fifth of hospitals had failed to meet standards of medicine management, and reports that hospitals country-wide were revealing clear signs of under-staffing, this month’s statement should come as no surprise to health officials.
Certainly the last few years have not been kind to the NHS, with budget cuts slashing resources available. Back in 2012, it was reported that there has been a £500 million reduction in health spending projected for the fiscal years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
Whilst the Conservative government have defended their decision to cut costs, the Labour Party argue that the results of the CQC are the consequence of the “toxic” decision to reduce spending and point out that, since Cameron entered office, almost 7,000 nursing posts have been lost.
The 17 hospitals named by the CQC – and published in The Sunday Telegraph – are: Scarborough Hospital; Milton Keynes Hospital; Royal Cornwall Hospital; Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool; Queen’s Hospital, Romford; Stamford & Rutland Hospital; Southampton General Hospital; Croydon University Hospital; Bodmin Hospital, Cornwall; Northampton General Hospital; St Peter’s Hospital, Maldon; Queen Mary’s Hospital, London; Chase Farm Hospital, London; Westmorland General Hospital; Pilgrim Hospital, Leicestershire; St Anne’s House, East Sussex; and Princess Royal Hospital, West Sussex.
Read the response issued by the director of the Walton Centre here.