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‘Tearful’ staff raise patient safety concerns to CQC


An inspection of a hospital has found all wards were understaffed, while ‘tearful [and] exhausted’ clinicians raised patient safety concerns to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC’s visit to Colchester hospital, run by East Suffolk and North East Essex Foundation Trust, also found patients going unfed because of low staffing ratios and patient confidentiality concerns.

The concerns were raised in a letter sent by the CQC to the trust, which also runs Ipswich hospital, ahead of publication of an inspection report for older people’s medical services, which is due later this month.

The CQC’s letter, published in board papers for a meeting on Thursday, said: “All wards’ actual staffing levels and skill mix meant staff were often overstretched. All staff we spoke with expressed concern about the impact on patient care and personal wellbeing. Some staff we spoke with were tearful, reported feeling exhausted and concerned that they were unable to care for patients well enough to keep them safe.”

The letter also said significant positives were found. Inspectors “found staff to be welcoming, hardworking and supportive of each other… We found staff at all levels working together with the aim of putting the patients first and providing a safe and effective service”.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 11 January 2023

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