Full report: Whittington Hospital ‘requires improvement’

The Whittington Hospital 'requires improvement'. Picture: Steve Parsons

The Whittington Hospital 'requires improvement'. Picture: Steve Parsons - Credit: PA ARCHIVE IMAGES Steve Parsons

A report has revealed the Whittington Hospital ‘requires improvement’, with junior doctors warning of a lack of overnight consultant cover, although the trust behind it is rated ‘good’

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the health watchdog, said there were not enough consultants in the Archway hospital’s emergency department.

Junior doctors told inspectors that consultants were not immediately available.

And temporary doctors did not provide the “quality of support” needed, with a risk to patients.

Action to address a patient’s deteriorating condition was delayed in one incident because a registrar was not immediately available.

Whittington Health, the trust behind the Whittington Hospital, which provides hospital and community care in Islington and Haringey, was given a “good” rating overall.

The trust was praised for providing “hope courses” for cancer patients to get together outside hospital and hear from motivational speakers.

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And inspectors said there was “outstanding” work to protect patients from abuse, with staff discussing people at risk and making plans to keep them safe.

But they had concerns about care in the maternity department of the Whittington.

Two resuscitation trolleys were not routinely checked and three foetal heart dopplers – equipment used to measure the fetal heart rate – had not been serviced for years.

There was insufficient staff, which meant pregnant women had limited care following surgery.

But maternity services were praised for running a specific clinic for women at risk of, or who had suffered, female genital mutilation.

The CQC also raised concerns about safety in children and adolescent mental health wards.

Oxygen cylinders were stored on top of a tall cupboard, with no footstool readily available.

Patients’ bedrooms had ligature anchor points – that can be used to attach a rope or a cord for strangulation – and patients were left unsupervised.

Inspectors found patients’ identifiable details was not always kept confidential in the hospital, with information left on trolleys.

But the CQC found highly committed staff delivering high-quality patient care and some patients described the community dental services as “life-changing”.

Commenting on the CQC report on the CQC report Mr Pleydell said: “It is vital that we continue to build upon our success and continue to be rated as one of the best NHS Trusts in London.

“The inspection team have also highlighted some areas we know need to improve – particularly around our bed capacity and improving the flow of patients through our hospital and we have already started to address these specific concerns.”