Almost three quarters of hospitals run by the NHS have been called “unsafe” for patients in a damning report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
74% of the 150 hospital trusts inspected by the health regulator in the last year have been classed as “requires improvement” or “inadequate” when it comes to ensuring patient safety.
In the report it said: “Our inspections have highlighted examples of poor safety cultures, a lack of processes and, in some cases, disregard for patients’ safety.”
They highlighted several concerns in particular such as cases where non-medically trained staff such as A&E receptionists were being forced to triage patients because there were no medical staff available at the time or no medical staff within the vicinity.
They also highlighted not completed safety checks, disregard for infection control practices, ineffective management of medicine and members of staff not receiving the correct training.
Overall, two thirds of NHS hospitals were deemed to be “requiring improvement” or “inadequate” within the report from the State of Care.
The chief executive of CQC, David Behan, said: “A key concern has been the safety of the care – a failure to learn when things go wrong, or not having the right number of staff in place with the right skills.”
“Where people are not receiving the quality of care they deserve, we will demand action – and we are now able to demonstrate that half of services have improved following re-inspection. Some services may need further support to improve, and we will continue to work with partners to ensure this happens.”
But Katherine Murphy, the chief executive of the Patients Association campaign group, said that she found the figures “worrying”.
She said: “It is worrying to see that there is still such variation in the quality of care being delivered.
“This cannot continue. The safety of patients should be the primary concern of all healthcare professionals.”