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Inspectors downgrade hospital A&E where patients left waiting ‘head to toe’

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A hospital A&E department has been downgraded by regulators amid fears of “significant risk of harm” to patients after inspectors found some were crammed “head to toe” on trolleys during a surge in coronavirus cases.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told bosses at the Royal Oldham Hospital to urgently improve its A&E service after the November inspection found staff were not following infection rules and patients were at risk of catching the virus.

The inspection confirms reports, revealed by The Independent last year, that patients in the A&E unit were being forced to wait close together for long periods. Whistleblowers from the trust said the practice was unsafe and the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Katherine Henderson, said it was a “potentially lethal” situation.

The CQC visited the emergency department on 30 November after it said concerns were raised over the safety of patients.

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Source: The Independent, 10 February 2021

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