Royal Cornwall hospital put in special measures after patient deaths

’s main NHS hospital is being put into special measures after inspectors uncovered a catalogue of serious failings, including patients dying and others going blind after waiting too long for treatment.

A Care Quality Commission report on care and safety standards at the Royal Cornwall hospitals NHS trust is one of the most critical the watchdog has ever published.

It details how patients came to harm at the Royal Cornwall hospital in Truro because they waited too long to be treated, how cancer operations were cancelled and how people with the deadly infection sepsis did not receive antibiotics quickly enough.

During a visit in July a team of CQC inspectors uncovered serious and in some cases potentially life-threatening flaws and inadequacies in a number of areas of care, including the hospital’s cardiac, maternity and surgical services. Standards in key departments had not improved despite previous CQC warnings, the report says.

“During this inspection and in our previous visits to the Royal Cornwall hospital we have found persistent evidence of care that falls below those standards. As a result patients have been let down and some have been placed at risk. It is clear that these are not isolated lapses,” said Prof Ted Baker, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals.

Between December 2016 and June this year 554 patients with heart problems experienced notable delays while waiting for an appointment.

“We were informed of two patients who had died of cardiac-related causes while delayed on the waiting list,” inspectors say in the report. “While it is not possible to say the deaths were directly linked to the delay, the trust reported it was highly likely.”

 

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