The chief executive of Kettering hospital says she is very concerned by a report which criticised the hospital over its cleanliness and other issues.
Lorene Read said the hospital trust was working hard and taking action following the report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which made a surprise inspection of the hospital in March.
The CQC said standards were not being met in three areas – cleanliness and infection control, supporting workers and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.
Referring to the accident and emergency department, the report said: “The public toilets appeared dirty. Radiator grilles had a build up of thick dust. Cobwebs were observed in the light fittings. Floors appeared dirty and stained. Sealant around the toilets appeared dirty and stained.”
It also said A&E had noisy and rusty bins and “sharps” containers were overflowing with syringes.
The CQC added: “We have judged that this has a minor impact on people who use the service, and have told the provider to take action.”
But the CQC – which has told the hospital to provide a report by next week highlighting what was being done to address the concerns – also noted the rest of the hospital was clean.
The watchdog also said the hospital did not have an effective system in place to identify, assess and manage risks to the health, safety and welfare of people who use the service, highlighting the fact patients have been forced to wait more than 10 hours in A&E before being transferred to a ward.
Mrs Read said the hospital was suffering from pressures on its A&E department, adding: “While it is true that our hospital has been experiencing some of the highest emergency pressures in its history this should not be a reason for individuals to fail to follow procedures which are designed to keep patients safe and well cared for at all times.
“We fully recognise that the pressures on the hospital have led to some long waits in the A&E department for some patients waiting for admission to a hospital bed.
“We are working very hard to address this issue as a hospital, and as a health community, and are in the process of putting in place a transformation programme that will re-energise the way we provide emergency care and significantly reduce the undue pressure we currently have on the hospital. This pressure manifests itself in long waits in A&E, and through things like medical patients needing to take up beds on surgical wards.”
She added: “Comments to inspectors from patients included ‘staff were very attentive’, ‘the staff were brilliant’, ‘cleanliness is superb here’, ‘staff are warm and friendly and put me at ease’, ‘you can’t get a better bunch of staff’ and ‘this is the fourth time I have come to A&E and every time I get superb care.
“The inspectors also made some supportive statements around our infection control procedures, on general cleanliness (apart from A&E), and found patients had many complimentary things to say about staff being competent, well trained, friendly and polite.”
Peter Boylan, Director of Nursing and Quality for NHS Corby and NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “As the local commissioners of the county’s health services, we are very concerned with the issues raised by this CQC report on Kettering General Hospital, and take them extremely seriously.
“We shall work with and support KGH to ensure that the concerns raised in the report are resolved as quickly as possible, and will monitor the changes implemented to ensure the necessary improvements are made and sustained.