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Lawyer for Colchester hospital patients reacts to latest CQC report

Latest CQC report into Colchester hospital concludes that it is still inadequate only 6 months after the last 'inadequate' report.

Posted on 07 September 2015

A leading health lawyer at Leigh Day has said she is ‘astonished and saddened’ after Colchester hospital received another ‘inadequate’ rating from the CQC, only eight months after the last one, following a focused inspection in July this year.

The latest inspection at the hospital followed concerns raised around staffing and the care received by patients in the surgery and medical care inpatient wards.

In this latest CQC report published on 3 September 2015, the conclusions by the investigators included the following:

  • The completion of records was poor on all wards, two medical wards were better than the others however records were incomplete and difficult to navigate.
  • IV Cannula Care monitoring and recording placed patients at risk of infection. • Incidents of poor hand hygiene were observed throughout the wards.
  • Consent for procedures did not always follow trust policy, particularly when a person lacked metal capacity to make a decision regarding treatment.

This latest report follows a similar CQC report published in January this year which rated both the Urgent and emergency services and Medical care at the hospital as ‘inadequate’ and in July 2014 a report from the CQC said the hospital ‘required improvement’.

In December last year Emma Jones, a lawyer in the human rights team at Leigh Day, who represented over 200 alleged victims of abuse at the Stafford hospital, voiced concerns that the situation at Colchester could escalate to the level of the Mid Staffordshire crisis. A warning she has repeated today.

A report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), published in 2014, showed that the Colchester Hospital University Trust was amongst six Trusts which had higher than expected death rates for patients who die in hospital or within 30 days of discharge, following research carried out between July 2011 to June 2013.

Joyce Beales, aged 86 from Clacton, visited the accident and emergency department at Colchester General Hospital in October 2012 and after an examination was diagnosed with a bleed on the brain and admitted as an inpatient.

Just over a week later Mrs Beales was discharged to Clacton District Hospital where she underwent an x-ray which highlighted two broken hips and a broken thigh bone. Her son, Roger Beales, 60, believes his mum’s injuries were caused by falling out of bed.

Mr Beales, who also claims his mother developed bed sores during her stay at the Colchester hospital and that her dressings were not changed regularly whilst she was there, added that the family were taking legal action in order to find out how she had sustained her injuries and why the hospital had no record of them.

After her injuries were discovered, Mrs Beales was re-admitted to Colchester General where she passed away in January 2013 after suffering suspected pneumonia, a tragedy which her family do not blame the hospital for. Following the publication of the latest CQC report,

Emma Jones who is representing Mrs Beales family and 3 others in legal action against the hospital, said:

“It is astonishing that this hospital does not seem to be improving, instead it seems to be getting worse.

“Unless these issues are taken seriously and urgently addressed, we could be seeing another crisis on the scale on Mid Staffordshire. That crisis did not happen overnight and was the result of complaints and problems being ignored and nothing being done.”