'Systematic catalogue of failings' at Whipps Cross (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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'Systematic catalogue of failings' at Whipps Cross
A blind elderly patient was found to be crying out for water when inspectors visited Whipps Cross, a damning report into care standards at the hospital reveals.
Shocking examples of poor care and hygiene were discovered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) during two unannounced inspections in May and June.
Elderly patients were found to have suffered falls, developed bed sores and were left with food and water out of their reach.
An elderly care ward had one bathroom which had been condemned, with patients forced to receive personal care at their bedside, adding to the risk of skin infections.
One vulnerable patient was left to wet themselves due to a staff shortage and CQC inspectors were forced to intervene when the blind patient cried out for a drink.
Maternity care at the hospital was also found to be well below acceptable standards.
A blood stained bowl in a delivery room was described as ready for use, blood stains were found on the curtains and bodily fluid stains were left on the walls.
Bins on the maternity ward were overflowing with “offensive waste”.
A baby’s blood samples were lost on three separate occasions and another baby’s notes were put in the wrong mother’s file.
A shortage of beds meant the maternity department had to be shut down, as in June this year, with women re-directed to another hospital.
Matthew Trainer, Regional Director of CQC in London, said some staff were not providing adequate support to patients, whose safety was being compromised by care failings.
“We have very serious concerns about the care and treatment patients have been receiving at Whipps Cross University Hospital," he added.
“The reports we have published today show a systematic catalogue of failings across the departments we looked at during our inspections in May and June.
“Our inspectors will return unannounced in the near future to check that it has made the changes required by the warning notices.”
Barts Health Trust, which runs Whipps cross, has been issued with three warning notices and has until August 31st to improve standards.
The trust has apologised for the failings.
Chief executive Peter Morris said: “Barts Health is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of every one of our patients and we are extremely sorry for the failings in some of our services at Whipps Cross Hospital.
“We have taken immediate action to rectify the failures to ensure we meet standards across the hospital at all times.”
MP Stella Creasy, said: “The expert assessment serves to reinforce some of the issues a number of organisations and residents have been raising and which I have sought to address with them in recent months.
“We must not lose this opportunity to ensure care at Whipps is improved to the standard and quality Walthamstow both needs and deserves.”
Two Whipps Cross carers were recently convicted of the criminal neglect of elderly patients.