Staffing ‘challenge’ at Lister Hospital but ‘all standards being met’

Lister Hospital in Stevenage

Lister Hospital in Stevenage - Credit: Josh Massey

An unannounced inspection of Lister Hospital in Stevenage by a healthcare watchdog identified “a challenge” with staffing, but concluded the required standards of all areas reviewed were being met.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) deemed the hospital to be meeting the six standards inspected – respecting and involving people who use services; consent to care and treatment; care and welfare of people who use services; staffing; supporting workers; and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

During the two-day inspection, the CQC visited two wards for the elderly, three surgical wards and the stroke unit.

The report said: “Overall, we found people were happy with their care and treatment and spoke highly of staff.”

However, the report also said: “On one of the care of the elderly wards, people and staff told us of occasions when call bells had not been answered in a timely way, and there was a risk people may not have had their needs met as they should have.

“We saw the Trust had recently identified this as an issue and was in the process of taking action to address this.”

In the Comet two weeks ago, Jon Savory spoke about how his 89-year-old father, Edwin, who died at home after he went into cardiac arrest on November 3, was not treated with dignity when he was a patient at Lister Hospital a few weeks before his death.

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Mr Savory said his father, who had been on a ward for the elderly, had to wait for up to 20 minutes every time he needed the toilet, despite repeated requests for a commode.

Nick Carver, chief executive of the East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “It was by far the most rigorous and stretching inspection we have ever experienced. The result was very gratifying.

“The inspectors’ overall finding is that people were very happy with the quality of care provided at Lister.”

The Trust’s director of nursing, Angela Thompson, said: “Whilst recognising the challenge the Trust faces in terms of staffing levels, I was pleased to see the inspectors saw we had effective systems in place to ensure adequate staffing.”

A detailed copy of the inspectors’ report can be found at www.cqc.org.uk/node/316218

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