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Sheffield University Hospital: ‘significant improvements’ needed as staff shortages impact patient safety UK News

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was ordered to make ‘significant improvements’ by the Care Quality Commission following an unannounced inspection in October and November.

The scathing report took the healthcare provider from its ‘Good’ rating in 2018 to ‘Improvement needed’ in all areas – except for its ability to ensure patient safety, which was rated ‘Inadequate’ “.

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The funding, announced by the National Institute for Health Research this week (February 28, 2022), will go to the Sheffield NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) based at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and managed in partnership with the University of Sheffield.

Trust bosses said they were ‘devastated’ by the findings, pledged to make changes and said 500 more nurses had now been recruited.

Last year’s visit took place in wards at Northern General Hospital, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Jessop Wing and Beech Hill Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit.

Serious staffing issues across the Trust, a lack of proper support for patients with mental health issues and poor medical care at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital all contributed to the rating downgrade.

The NHS Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust was given six weeks to comment on the action plan following the death of a newborn baby in its Jessop wing two years ago.

“We re-inspected the maternity wards as part of this inspection and found that there was little or no improvement in the quality of care patients received, in some areas the service had deteriorated further” , says the report.

“For example, there were significant concerns about patient assessment in the labor room assessment unit, maternity staff and delays in labor induction.”

Additionally, CQC Deputy Chief Inspector for the North, Ann Ford, said: “It was very disappointing that several areas that we have identified over the past 12 months as needing urgent improvement have still not been addressed. fully treated… Our inspectors have found deterioration. , as well as maternity safety issues.

The Infectious Diseases Unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital has been at the forefront of Sheffield’s battle against Covid-19

Staffing was a key issue in almost every area.

The Trust says it suffered from serious rates of staff illness when inspected, and the report highlights that staff ‘treated patients with compassion and kindness’, while consistently saying they were ‘proud to work for the Trust”.

However, this was not conducive to patient safety.

Although there were enough medical staff to ensure patient safety, overall staffing levels were a recurring concern.

“The Trust did not have enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe,” the report said.

“Staff were not always aware of key skills training. The Trust did not always control the risk of infection well. Staff did not always assess the risks to patients, but when they did, they did not always act on them.

“The staff did not always provide good care and treatment… The staff worked together for the good of the patients, but they did not advise them on how to lead a healthier life.”

Concerns have also been raised about mental health support across the Trust, citing: “Failure to provide safe and appropriate care to patients with mental health needs has resulted in incidents of preventable harm. “

‘Medical care’ was also found to be inadequate across all areas of Royal Hallamshire, with shortcomings noted in infection control, cleanliness and the way wards were designed and maintained to ensure patient safety, for example. example with substances not being stored properly or how rooms containing hazardous substances were not locked. Again, inspectors noted that ‘most of the departments we visited’ at Royal Hallamshire were understaffed.

“Staff said wards were often left at risk and even if their ward was full, staff would then move to another ward to make up for the shortfall in that other ward…they felt compelled to carry on. if staff were not available,” the inspector wrote.

Ms Ford added: ‘I recognize the enormous pressure that NHS services are under across the country, particularly in emergency and emergency care, but it is essential that senior leaders are visible and have good monitoring to manage and mitigate.

“It was obvious that some staff were demoralized when they raised concerns to improve patient care… A number of staff told us they had stopped reporting incidents and when they did have done, the Trust’s response has been slow and untimely, reducing opportunities for timely intervention.

“Senior managers must do more to support staff and create a blameless culture of reporting, learning and continuous improvement as well as a culture…

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This notice was published: 2022-04-04 23:01:00

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