‘Dirty and unsafe’: Whipps Cross hospital told it must make urgent changes

Inspectors reported cases of women having to wait up to four hours to be seen at a labour ward

Babies and mothers were exposed to infection risk at an east London maternity ward that was described in a damning report by the NHS watchdog as “dirty and unsafe”.

Patients at Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, part of the Barts Health NHS Trust, were treated among “overfilled bins and stained floors, wards and curtains” on the maternity ward, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection found, with serious problems also identified on the elderly care and surgical wards.

The CQC has issued the trust with three formal warnings following unannounced inspections, and warned that it must make urgent improvements or face sanctions that could extend to senior managers being removed from their posts by the health service regulator Monitor.

Inspectors reported cases of women having to wait up to four hours to be seen at a labour ward because there was not always a doctor available in the triage area.

Staffing problems also affected elderly care wards, where patients who needed assistance with their meals went without help, and water was sometimes left out of reach. Inspectors said wards sometimes did not have enough staff on duty to meet patients’ needs and that, in some cases, staff did not show “the compassion that people deserve”.

In the surgery department, clinicians trained in specialist paediatric life support were not always available and staffing on two wards was “inadequate”.

Surgery mortality rates at the hospital were higher than national averages, the inspectors said, and in the six months before the inspections, the hospital’s accident and emergency department had failed to meet national targets to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours.

Matthew Trainer, the regional director of the CQC for London, said: “The reports we have published today show a systematic catalogue of failings across the departments we looked at during our inspections in May and June. We found that, in places, the hospital was unsafe and dirty, and that staff didn’t always show patients the compassion that people deserve. Patients were not receiving the care and support they should have been able to expect – and in some cases, this was putting them at risk of harm.”

Barts Health NHS Trust is one of six considered high risk by the CQC’s new chief inspector of hospitals, Sir Mike Richards. It will be inspected under his new regime before Christmas, but CQC inspectors will also return unannounced to  Whipps Cross “in the near future” to scrutinise progress on the report's recommendations.

The trust has apologised to patients and said it was making “urgent improvements to patient safety and standards of care”.

“Barts Health is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of every one of our patients and we are extremely sorry for the failings in some of our services at Whipps Cross Hospital,” trust chief executive Peter Morris said. “We have taken immediate action to rectify the failures to ensure we meet standards across the hospitals at all times.”

The trust has pledged to run enhanced training courses for all maternity and elderly care staff; senior managers are being drafted in to Whipps Cross from other parts of the trust; and processes on maternity wards have been changed.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

    Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

    SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

    £1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

    Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

    £32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam