The Care Quality Commission's (CQC) latest inspection of Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust raises continuing concerns about standards of care delivered at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Alexandra Hospital and Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre.
The Trust has been in special measures since December 2015 following an earlier CQC inspection. The latest CQC inspection report, released today found an improvement in how Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust was run, but its overall rating remains ‘inadequate’. Indeed the report noted that some areas had not improved and others had declined since the last inspection.
Previous inspections raised concerns about the leadership of the Trust, which up until 2017 had an entirely ‘temporary’ management team, and while the CQC inspectors acknowledged that the new leadership team understands the challenges they face, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, is reported by ITV News as saying:
‘Progress with improvements in services has not been fast or consistent enough. More work is needed by the Trust and its system partners to ensure that all patients receive satisfactory care. Our main concerns are still with urgent and emergency care, surgery and outpatients which are still rated as inadequate overall.’
That assessment certainly chimes with the experience of clients who have recently approached Shoosmiths for help following what they consider to have been the poor care they received at the Trust.
One client (Mr RJ), whose case is being handled by a Shoosmiths associate solicitor in the medical negligence team, had surgery at Alexandra Hospital to remove his damaged left elbow joint and replace it with a prosthesis in January 2009.
It is alleged that the surgeon failed to position the prosthesis correctly and failed to diagnose and treat soft tissue imbalance in the elbow joint, resulting in Mr RJ having to undergo two further operations to replace the prosthesis and then remove it altogether. He has been left without a joint in his left elbow and his left arm is now essentially useless and misshapen, causing him severe and constant pain.
His suffering was compounded by a delay in surgery of almost a year for a humeral fracture to his right arm sustained in a fall in 2014 which was treated conservatively at first at Worcester Royal Hospital. The fracture has still not united and he now suffers pain, discomfort and immobility in both limbs.
Kashmir Uppal, a medical negligence partner in the firm, comments:
‘Mr RJ’s experience of surgery would seem to support the CQC’s conclusion there is clearly more to be done to ensure that patients receive a consistently high quality of care at Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust.’