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New blow for troubled East Lancashire hospitals trust
9:00am Wednesday 1st January 2014 in East Lancashire
THE trust which runs East Lancashire’s hospitals has received a further blow as Burnley General was issued a warning by a health watchdog.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said yesterday the hospital had failed to meet an essential standard around ‘assessing and monitoring the quality of service’, during an unannounced inspection in November.
The finding came after a number of employees reported staff shortages on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The inspectors said: “Whilst we saw evidence to support that action had been taken, for example on occasion closure of the unit to admissions and the annual leave and sickness absence policy had been reviewed, we saw little evidence to support that the information had been analysed and evaluated.
“Feedback to staff on this issue was poor and morale was described as ‘low’ by senior staff. We noted staff absence levels had increased to over 10 per cent for a prolonged period of time.”
The report caps a troubling year for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which was placed in special measures in July.
But the latest failure was not as serious as those identified at the Royal Blackburn Hospital in the summer, when the CQC took e action to improve the emergency department.
The Burnley site was found to be meeting the two other standards examined and the report included dozens of positive comments.
Jonathan Wood, acting chief executive, said: “Of the three essential standards assessed within the inspection, a minor concern was raised in relation to outcome 16 in relation to NICU. Staff working on the NICU were praised by parents for their friendly, polite and caring attitude.”
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