Health chiefs say they are working hard to improve patient care at Blackpool Victoria Hospital after a recent inspection found the hospital was suffering from ‘insufficient numbers of qualified medical staff’.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised a number of issues following the inspection in January of the emergency department and urgent care services.
CQC’s deputy chief inspector for the north Ann Ford said among areas where immediate improvements were needed was to ensure people could access the appropriate service in a prompt and timely way.
This was not always happening because patient flow, which is the ability to get people care quickly and efficiently, was a challenge.
Peter Murphy, director of nursing at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust told a public meeting of the board there was “nothing in the report we weren’t aware of and weren’t working hard on to address”.
He said the day of the unannounced visit by the inspection team had coincided with the hospital coping with the highest number of Covid patient admissions of the pandemic, with staff being “in the eye of the storm”.
This had impacted on patient flow as medics battled to get the right care for patients.
But Mr Murphy added: “There isn’t a hospital across the NHS that wasn’t affected by patient flow during the pandemic.”
However he said a lack of nurses, which had been highlighted by the CQC report in 2019, was not the case now.
He said: “The system we have now got is twice daily staffing checks and where we see gaps, we can allocate the resources.
“They regarded that as outstanding practice and we try to improve that every day.”
He added: “We are making daily improvements to our services. This is not a quick fix or a one year turnaround, but about undoing years of problematic issues.”
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