CQC plans more unannounced inspections after ‘learning lessons’ from Homerton Hospital
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Health inspectors will carry out more unannounced inspections in future, after “learning lessons” from Homerton Hospital’s maternity unit which was given a clean bill of health just one year before it was branded “unsafe”.
Inspectors “had no concerns” about the maternity unit at the hospital in Homerton Row which they rated as “good” following an announced inspection in February 2014.
“That was despite the fact that we had had some whistleblowers raising concerns before that but during the inspection we were content with what we found,” Professor Sir Mike Richards told the Care Quality Commission public board meeting on Wednesday.
But one year later when they returned for an unannounced inspection, following a spate of five maternal deaths in the space of a year, they found “very considerable concerns, particularly around safety”.
“Incidents weren’t being investigated in a timely way, the unit was dirty, the fridge temperatures weren’t right, very worrying the massive obstetrics haemorrhage trolley had not been checked, it was a very different picture,” said Sir Mike, who at that point asked his deputy Edward Baker to investigate “why did he genuinely think there was a difference”.
You may also want to watch:
“Did he think things had got worse or had we missed things the first time around,” said Sir Mike.
“In essence it’s probably a combination of factors,” he added.
- 1 Jailed: Newham men who raped and robbed women in Hackney home
- 2 Hackney's great beer gardens reopening on April 12
- 3 London's emergency services show support for LTNs
- 4 Community group crowdfunds to turn old Lea valley water depot into wild space
- 5 Campaign to keep Hackney Wick 'alive' with street art
- 6 Hoxton restaurant showcases menus by New City College student chefs
- 7 Godwin Lawson's mum reflects on the ‘hardest call’ after son's fatal stabbing
- 8 Garden of Lament, Covid, Ramadan, homing cats and Islamophobia
- 9 Hackney mum left with 'deep scars' after sexual assault at school
- 10 Police hunt Ilford man after shooting in Hackney
“There certainly were real changes in that we found it was very dirty on the occasion we visited unannounced - but that could be because it was an unannounced inspection and not an announced inspection.
“This will certainly help to inform how we go about inspections in the next phase and there will be more unannounced inspections.
“This is a good example of us as an organisation learning from past experience.”
Last month a CQC report ruled Homerton’s maternity department still required improvement, nine months after the surprise inspection which found “safety was not a sufficient priority” there.
A previous CQC inspection had found 29 “serious incidents” took place in 2014 and a “never event” had happened in January 2015 – a medical term for a serious preventable incident.