Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Hospital and ambulance trusts 'making improvements'

Scarborough Hospital
The CQC said there was a shortfall of junior doctors at Scarborough hospital

Three NHS trusts have pledged to improve standards after they were criticised by the healthcare regulator.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it had seen patients at Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby being left in a corridor.

The safety of premises and staff shortages were among concerns at Scarborough and Bridlington hospitals.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service's response times were also criticised. The trusts responsible said they were improving.

The Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service are among 10 NHS trusts which have had legal conditions placed with their registration with the CQC under a new, tougher system.

'Good track record'

The CQC said its inspectors witnessed accident and emergency patients at Grimsby being made to wait in a corridor during an unannounced inspection in January.

The commission has told the hospital trust that a senior clinician must see all ambulance patients at the point of arrival in the emergency department.

A trust spokesman said: "There is no suggestion that any harm has come to any patient as a result of the issues identified by the CQC."

He said the trust had a "good track record on patient safety" and its infection rates were among the lowest nationally.

Moving ambulance
The ambulance trust said it was 23 seconds short of national targets

He added: "Work has already taken place to address the issues raised and the trust is confident that the CQC will remove the conditions when it next visits the trust."

The CQC said there were not adequate assessments of health and safety risks at the Scarborough and Bridlington hospitals.

It also said there was a shortfall of junior doctors at both hospitals, which led to locum doctors being employed and consultant medical staff acting down to ensure the junior doctor rota was covered.

Richard Sunley, the trust's chief executive, said: "We are confident that we will be able to quickly achieve the standards required within the next few months.

"We were already aware that we needed to take further action in these three areas and are clear what we need to do."

The CQC said Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) had "consistently failed" to meet government targets which require 75% of emergency call-outs to be met within eight minutes, and gave it until 31 October to improve.

Martyn Pritchard, YAS's chief executive, said it was 23 seconds short of the target and was committed to making improvements.

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