Staff shortages and cash problems at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

An NHS trust rated “inadequate” by inspectors for whether its services are safe is facing staff shortages and worsening financial deficit.

By Don Mort
Thursday, 3rd December 2015, 3:56 pm

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust was told to improve after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found low staffing levels and poor hygiene in its latest inspection.

The CQC report was released yesterday as it also emerged that Mid Yorkshire, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, faces a financial deficit of £21.3m at the end of the year - £6.5m higher than planned.

The organisation is among NHS trusts around the country struggling to balance the books after government funding cuts.

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Patients have also been waiting in ambulances for more than an hour outside busy A&E departments which could not meet targets to see patients within four hours of arrival.

The CQC report rated Mid Yorkshire “good” for being caring, but “requires improvement” for being effective, responsive and well-led.

Mid Yorkshire was rated as “requires improvement” overall, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted some improvements since its last inspection in July 2014.

Maternity, children and young people and outpatients services all got “good” ratings. Mid Yorkshire was also praised for reducing a 9,500 backlog of patients waiting for appointments to just three.

But a string of further actions were ordered because of poor practice found during latest visits between June and August this year.

The chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards, said: “The trust must continue to tackle staff shortages and ensure patients receive the care they need.”

Inspectors found a dirty accident and emergency department (ED) at Dewsbury hospital this time round, and raised concerns over hygiene in the mortuary at Dewsbury.

The trust was trying to recruit staff at the three hospitals. But the CQC report said: “Throughout the inspections we found nurse staffing levels on wards continued to be a problem in the trust.”

A separate report to yesterday’s meeting of Mid Yorkshire’s trust board show that in October 82 per cent of A&E patients were either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, against a target of 95 per cent.

Patients were left waiting in ambulances outside A&E for more than an hour 97 times in October.

Mid Yorkshire’s latest financial report said the trust expected to be £14.8m in the red at the end of March, but has now forecast a £21.3m deficit after overspending by £9m so far this year.

Gary Boothby, Mid Yorkshire’s acting finance director, said: “The trust endorsed a plan to deliver an agreed deficit plan. In-year challenges faced by the Trust and the wider local health economy have led to the agreement of a revised forecast deficit.”