St Andrews Special Measures

St Andrews Hospital in Northamptonshire has been placed into special measures by the CQC.

Mark Brown

In a move that will surprise nobody who has followed recent events at St Andrews Hospital in Northampton, St Andrews Healthcare Adolescent Service has been rated inadequate by the CQC following inspections that took place in March and April. Stating that the service will be re-inspected within six months the CQC is warning that a failure to implement the improvements that they are demanding will lead to the closure of the service.

Paul Lelliot the Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals was damning in his assessment of the service's shortcomings:

"Staff did not always treat patients with dignity, compassion or respect." 

"The majority of seclusion rooms did not have basic furnishings such as a bed, pillow, blanket or mattress, and records referred to patients as sitting or lying on the floor whilst in those rooms." 

"On one occasion, staff did not respect a patients privacy and dignity."

"The physical environment was not always safe."

"The service failed to ensure that shifts were fully staffed." 

"Staff shortages sometimes resulted in staff cancelling escorted leave, appointments or ward activities."

"We concluded that the leadership and governance of the service did not always support the delivery of safe, person-centred care."

The service has been rated inadequate in three of the CQC's inspection categories and is therefore seen as unsafe, uncaring and poorly led. Which is all the more remarkable given that it paid more than 158 members of staff over £60,000 a year in 2017. 

Most of St Andrews funding, which was reported to be £202 million in 2017, comes from the NHS. According to an NHS spokes person quoted on Sky News:

"CQC are right to call out St Andrews, and frankly if they are going to continue to expect to be able to look after NHS funded patients they are going to have to improve their services, and quickly."