Colchester's hospitals are still not safe enough, inspectors rule

Colchester's hospitals are still not safe enough, inspectors rule

Colchester's hospitals are still not safe enough, inspectors rule

First published in News

TREATMENT at Colchester’s hospitals is still not safe enough despite the best efforts of frontline doctors and nurses, inspectors have ruled.

Eight months on from the cancer scandal, a “credible” board is still to be recruited to run the trust in charge of Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital, according to a Care Quality Commission report published today.

Inspectors found medicine was being prescribed and administered incorrectly at Colchester General’s children’s ward, while 15 per cent of outpatient appointments at Essex County were cancelled in February, March and April.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said the problems discovered during the probe in May were so bad that sanctions would ordinarily be imposed.

But because Colchester Hospitals Trust was already in special measures, he had notified regulator Monitor, which will ensure fresh issues, including a shortage of nurses on many medical wards, were addressed.

For a special report, see Thursday's Gazette

Comments (14)

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5:55am Thu 17 Jul 14

karen martham says...

one of the biggest issues behind the problems within the hospital is the serious lack of staff and resources to enable the trust to deliver an excellent service. all too often requests for extra staff, extra clinics, extra theatre sessions are not honoured, it is all about government targets. of course a bigger problem is Colchester is expanding with new homes everywhere but where is the new hospital (needs to be at least the size of the existing one with the existing one still running) to cope with the ever growing population???? the hospital staff are working their butts off to try and provide the best service they can to their public but without the correct level of staffing (not just on the front line but also in the Admin areas too) and the correct level of resources these problems will never go away................
.....it is about time that those working at ground level within the trust are listened to and funding is made available to help combat what has been a big problem for many years.
one of the biggest issues behind the problems within the hospital is the serious lack of staff and resources to enable the trust to deliver an excellent service. all too often requests for extra staff, extra clinics, extra theatre sessions are not honoured, it is all about government targets. of course a bigger problem is Colchester is expanding with new homes everywhere but where is the new hospital (needs to be at least the size of the existing one with the existing one still running) to cope with the ever growing population???? the hospital staff are working their butts off to try and provide the best service they can to their public but without the correct level of staffing (not just on the front line but also in the Admin areas too) and the correct level of resources these problems will never go away................ .....it is about time that those working at ground level within the trust are listened to and funding is made available to help combat what has been a big problem for many years. karen martham
  • Score: 30

6:22am Thu 17 Jul 14

Logo30 says...

Interesting to compare how the Gazette reports this story relative to the EADT.

The Gazette fails to mention that the CQC found that cancer services at the Trust are safe - this was the original reason why the Trust was put into special measures.

There are clearly fundamental issues still to be addressed at the Trust, but there is no balance / context in this report: just alarm and 'scandal'.

Sadly this type of sensational / skewed reporting seems to becoming a trait of the Gazette, and it stories / angles highlighting problems in Colchester (not just at the hospital) are those it pursues with most vigour.

I wonder why the Trust is struggling to recruit staff with headlines and reporting like this.........
Interesting to compare how the Gazette reports this story relative to the EADT. The Gazette fails to mention that the CQC found that cancer services at the Trust are safe - this was the original reason why the Trust was put into special measures. There are clearly fundamental issues still to be addressed at the Trust, but there is no balance / context in this report: just alarm and 'scandal'. Sadly this type of sensational / skewed reporting seems to becoming a trait of the Gazette, and it stories / angles highlighting problems in Colchester (not just at the hospital) are those it pursues with most vigour. I wonder why the Trust is struggling to recruit staff with headlines and reporting like this......... Logo30
  • Score: 19

6:46am Thu 17 Jul 14

blockpaver says...

Reduce the funds put into the NHS and this is the outcome. An institution once the envy of the world is now on its knees.

Sad to say that NHS is only fit for purpose now if you’re never ill!
Reduce the funds put into the NHS and this is the outcome. An institution once the envy of the world is now on its knees. Sad to say that NHS is only fit for purpose now if you’re never ill! blockpaver
  • Score: 10

7:49am Thu 17 Jul 14

ImpossibleMission says...

blockpaver wrote:
Reduce the funds put into the NHS and this is the outcome. An institution once the envy of the world is now on its knees.

Sad to say that NHS is only fit for purpose now if you’re never ill!
We have notice no change at all In fact it may be worse or have maintained a status quo.
Our child was taken ill last year and we were told that a full medical screen would be done while in their hands. It has now transpired that the screen was not done at the time. Another NHS Trust unit actioned the screen some months later and the problem that was originally being looked for was found, too late to find or back track the original source of the issue. I have filed a complaint and have been met with the usual barrage brick wall type of bolster defense. They took a new lady on to head complaints, she told me she was there for the long haul. It now transpires she left some months ago, The trust claims that they were only taken on for 6 months, to sort problems out. The issue I feel is too many people using the service, they cannot cope and the place is way too big. I am in agreement with the new chief of the NHS, he advocates smaller hospitals. There has been talk in the gazette posts of smaller cottage hospitals. It is not just the NHS, large companies cannot cope with customer service issues, because the country is full to the brim and at a population capacity it has not catered for. Complaints or general service issues just cannot be dealt with any longer. It is a way of life that can be seen everywhere in many places. NHS or Private sector the organisations will not employ either to cut costs as in the NHS or increase profits as in the Private Sector. Paying out to employ workers for them to run services seems, to be a cost that no one wants to bear. There should be some pro rata type of head count /tariff of worker to customer ratio. It is difficult to get the job done and is all dependent on how much someone kicks out. There is also an element of luck in it as well. I feel it will take years for this problem to be sorted. There are people working in the Trust that should not be there. They should have been moved on during the Keogh review.
[quote][p][bold]blockpaver[/bold] wrote: Reduce the funds put into the NHS and this is the outcome. An institution once the envy of the world is now on its knees. Sad to say that NHS is only fit for purpose now if you’re never ill![/p][/quote]We have notice no change at all In fact it may be worse or have maintained a status quo. Our child was taken ill last year and we were told that a full medical screen would be done while in their hands. It has now transpired that the screen was not done at the time. Another NHS Trust unit actioned the screen some months later and the problem that was originally being looked for was found, too late to find or back track the original source of the issue. I have filed a complaint and have been met with the usual barrage brick wall type of bolster defense. They took a new lady on to head complaints, she told me she was there for the long haul. It now transpires she left some months ago, The trust claims that they were only taken on for 6 months, to sort problems out. The issue I feel is too many people using the service, they cannot cope and the place is way too big. I am in agreement with the new chief of the NHS, he advocates smaller hospitals. There has been talk in the gazette posts of smaller cottage hospitals. It is not just the NHS, large companies cannot cope with customer service issues, because the country is full to the brim and at a population capacity it has not catered for. Complaints or general service issues just cannot be dealt with any longer. It is a way of life that can be seen everywhere in many places. NHS or Private sector the organisations will not employ either to cut costs as in the NHS or increase profits as in the Private Sector. Paying out to employ workers for them to run services seems, to be a cost that no one wants to bear. There should be some pro rata type of head count /tariff of worker to customer ratio. It is difficult to get the job done and is all dependent on how much someone kicks out. There is also an element of luck in it as well. I feel it will take years for this problem to be sorted. There are people working in the Trust that should not be there. They should have been moved on during the Keogh review. ImpossibleMission
  • Score: -8

9:12am Thu 17 Jul 14

totallyfootball says...

blockpaver wrote:
Reduce the funds put into the NHS and this is the outcome. An institution once the envy of the world is now on its knees.

Sad to say that NHS is only fit for purpose now if you’re never ill!
They have plenty of funds, they waste the majority of it because they are unaccountable and poorly run!
[quote][p][bold]blockpaver[/bold] wrote: Reduce the funds put into the NHS and this is the outcome. An institution once the envy of the world is now on its knees. Sad to say that NHS is only fit for purpose now if you’re never ill![/p][/quote]They have plenty of funds, they waste the majority of it because they are unaccountable and poorly run! totallyfootball
  • Score: -7

9:13am Thu 17 Jul 14

totallyfootball says...

Stop telling us how poor it is and do something about it!
Stop telling us how poor it is and do something about it! totallyfootball
  • Score: -7

10:14am Thu 17 Jul 14

nbnbnb says...

Very strange, our child has been in the Children's Ward for 2 weeks (July 2014), with an leg infection, following a puncture wound, and no anti-biotics from A&E (thanks very much).

The nursing care has been great, and the consultants from Orthopaedics have been very thorough. He's had X-ray, 2 MRI scans, and 3 trips to theatre. Plenty of nurses, who all seem to know what they are doing, caring, and very organised. Very clean ward, we're very impressed. A&E is a completely different case !
Very strange, our child has been in the Children's Ward for 2 weeks (July 2014), with an leg infection, following a puncture wound, and no anti-biotics from A&E (thanks very much). The nursing care has been great, and the consultants from Orthopaedics have been very thorough. He's had X-ray, 2 MRI scans, and 3 trips to theatre. Plenty of nurses, who all seem to know what they are doing, caring, and very organised. Very clean ward, we're very impressed. A&E is a completely different case ! nbnbnb
  • Score: 7

11:12am Thu 17 Jul 14

Davidmills says...

The Town gets bigger by the day yet the Hospital is not growing to keep up with demand, A&E is over run due to not being able to see your own doctors up to a three week wait if you need to see the same doctor for on going treatment at the Abby Fields Center, and all this tables they have to try and keep up with no wonder Hospitals just can not cope, Not enough Staff to much paper work.
The Town gets bigger by the day yet the Hospital is not growing to keep up with demand, A&E is over run due to not being able to see your own doctors up to a three week wait if you need to see the same doctor for on going treatment at the Abby Fields Center, and all this tables they have to try and keep up with no wonder Hospitals just can not cope, Not enough Staff to much paper work. Davidmills
  • Score: 8

12:04pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Checkout says...

I think karen martham has more or less nailed it. The existing general hospital cannot properly serve Colchester (let alone Tendring) because the town has grown so much.
A second general hospital is needed, preferably in the south or west of the town, to address the large increase in population. Somewhere within the Stanway development zone might be ideal.
Until a new unit is built, ECH should be retained or the present general hospital will surely be overwhelmed.
I think karen martham has more or less nailed it. The existing general hospital cannot properly serve Colchester (let alone Tendring) because the town has grown so much. A second general hospital is needed, preferably in the south or west of the town, to address the large increase in population. Somewhere within the Stanway development zone might be ideal. Until a new unit is built, ECH should be retained or the present general hospital will surely be overwhelmed. Checkout
  • Score: 12

2:24pm Thu 17 Jul 14

sam vines says...

We need to just accept the General Hospital is well and truly broken and no matter how many inspection visits and scandals are highlighted it is just going to be the same. How can you recruit nurses when one of the major failings of this hospital is the leadership, nurses are already under great stress without having management issues and feeling undervalued when the management feel it’s acceptable to hire someone to work 3 days a week for 45K.

The size of this hospital is not big enough for the town let alone the surrounding areas. Colchester’s population is currently around 170000+ the general only has less than 700 beds which are nowhere near enough for this population let alone the potential 300000 it’s supposed to support.

Many people have complained about the A&E being poorly ran well unfortunately a lot of the blame lays with CBC for allowing so many bad licensing decisions and allowing the expansion of so many houses without understanding what happens when you increase both of these and fail to check thoroughly the town has the resources that have to pick up the mess they create, the SOS bus is not a solution to the problems the nigh time economy have created for the A&E department.

Perhaps our local MP could get his head out of the sand and campaign for the County hospital not be sold off but become a dedicated A&E, however I feel he would rather fight over a privately owned rusty water tower than the well being of the humans that live in this town.
We need to just accept the General Hospital is well and truly broken and no matter how many inspection visits and scandals are highlighted it is just going to be the same. How can you recruit nurses when one of the major failings of this hospital is the leadership, nurses are already under great stress without having management issues and feeling undervalued when the management feel it’s acceptable to hire someone to work 3 days a week for 45K. The size of this hospital is not big enough for the town let alone the surrounding areas. Colchester’s population is currently around 170000+ the general only has less than 700 beds which are nowhere near enough for this population let alone the potential 300000 it’s supposed to support. Many people have complained about the A&E being poorly ran well unfortunately a lot of the blame lays with CBC for allowing so many bad licensing decisions and allowing the expansion of so many houses without understanding what happens when you increase both of these and fail to check thoroughly the town has the resources that have to pick up the mess they create, the SOS bus is not a solution to the problems the nigh time economy have created for the A&E department. Perhaps our local MP could get his head out of the sand and campaign for the County hospital not be sold off but become a dedicated A&E, however I feel he would rather fight over a privately owned rusty water tower than the well being of the humans that live in this town. sam vines
  • Score: 9

8:12pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Colonel Kurtz says...

The clowns are running the circus
The clowns are running the circus Colonel Kurtz
  • Score: -3

8:35pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Snowthorne says...

While i agree that the need for another hospital is something that the NHS has to stop putting off & get on & do, why are smaller hospitals in outlying areas ie Harwich & Clacton, being slowly closed down?
So much for wanting more small hospitals. Harwich & Clacton need their emergency depts back as both towns are expanding rapidly & Colchester just cannot cope with the influx of people from outside our areas.
Clacton has to have 2000+ more houses built, who knows how many Colchester have to have. Where is the infrastructure to support this increase in population? More doctors & dentists are needed & our small hospitals operational again before any improvement will be able to be seen at Colchester & Essex County.
May i just say that my own personal experience at Essex County cannot be faulted so far. Then it is not the cancer side of the hospital but the Eye depts who are all from Consultants to all the Staff have been wonderful in their care.
While i agree that the need for another hospital is something that the NHS has to stop putting off & get on & do, why are smaller hospitals in outlying areas ie Harwich & Clacton, being slowly closed down? So much for wanting more small hospitals. Harwich & Clacton need their emergency depts back as both towns are expanding rapidly & Colchester just cannot cope with the influx of people from outside our areas. Clacton has to have 2000+ more houses built, who knows how many Colchester have to have. Where is the infrastructure to support this increase in population? More doctors & dentists are needed & our small hospitals operational again before any improvement will be able to be seen at Colchester & Essex County. May i just say that my own personal experience at Essex County cannot be faulted so far. Then it is not the cancer side of the hospital but the Eye depts who are all from Consultants to all the Staff have been wonderful in their care. Snowthorne
  • Score: 7

10:45pm Thu 17 Jul 14

colchlad says...

Colchester Genral Hospital is a disgrace. You never hear about the Lakes, the mental health unit in the same complex as the General, its absolutely pathetic, but nobody even cares about that,
Colchester Genral Hospital is a disgrace. You never hear about the Lakes, the mental health unit in the same complex as the General, its absolutely pathetic, but nobody even cares about that, colchlad
  • Score: -4

11:05pm Thu 17 Jul 14

William George says...

Checkout wrote:
I think karen martham has more or less nailed it. The existing general hospital cannot properly serve Colchester (let alone Tendring) because the town has grown so much.
A second general hospital is needed, preferably in the south or west of the town, to address the large increase in population. Somewhere within the Stanway development zone might be ideal.
Until a new unit is built, ECH should be retained or the present general hospital will surely be overwhelmed.
Checkout I agree with what you say completely. Because the increase of the population that Colchester has.

The population of Colchester has more than reached too high in its total and still continues to increase is the most main reason of Colchester General Hospital's struggle to have to cope with that.

During such time as this no thought of the Essex County Hospital to close down should be allowed to happen. Because if the close down did happen it would cause more difficulty for the staff and its patients at our Colchester General Hospital, then to have them to suffer even more.
[quote][p][bold]Checkout[/bold] wrote: I think karen martham has more or less nailed it. The existing general hospital cannot properly serve Colchester (let alone Tendring) because the town has grown so much. A second general hospital is needed, preferably in the south or west of the town, to address the large increase in population. Somewhere within the Stanway development zone might be ideal. Until a new unit is built, ECH should be retained or the present general hospital will surely be overwhelmed.[/p][/quote]Checkout I agree with what you say completely. Because the increase of the population that Colchester has. The population of Colchester has more than reached too high in its total and still continues to increase is the most main reason of Colchester General Hospital's struggle to have to cope with that. During such time as this no thought of the Essex County Hospital to close down should be allowed to happen. Because if the close down did happen it would cause more difficulty for the staff and its patients at our Colchester General Hospital, then to have them to suffer even more. William George
  • Score: 4

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