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Inspections at two of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust locations ‘Require Improvement’

PUBLISHED: 12:56 04 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:56 04 April 2018

Darent Valley Hospital and Elm Court Ward were rated as Requires Improvement. Picture: Google

Darent Valley Hospital and Elm Court Ward were rated as Requires Improvement. Picture: Google

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Health inspectors have said Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust must improve after it was found that some medicines in use in surgeries had been out of date and that safety checks “were not undertaken consistently”.

A report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) stated that throughout an inspection in November and December of last year, poor compliance to checklists were observed, meaning there was “a lack of oversight and monitoring.”

Worryingly, expired medicines were found on a resuscitation trolley despite a recent check which had confirmed that all items were within date and safe to use, which inspectors have said means an ineffective checking of equipment had been taking place.

Machine safety checks had also not been undertaken in line with national guidance and, according to the report, patients’ confidentiality, dignity and respect was not maintained within the theatre holding bay.

Serving around 350,000 people in North Kent, the trust operates five sites in Dartford, Gravesend, Sidcup and Erith and employs more than 3,300 staff.

A trust spokesman said: “We are committed to providing comprehensive services which are safe, well-coordinated, designed around the patients’ needs, whether in hospital or in the community.

“The inspectors found a number of areas throughout the trust where good and outstanding practice was being carried out namely in urgent care, maternity and surgery.

“Services were rated as good for caring and they observed patients being treated with compassion, by kind and professional staff who put patients at the heart of the service they delivered.

“Services provided by the trust at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup were rated good overall.

“The trust is committed to improving services to the population we serve, and welcomes the feedback from the CQC.

“The report also highlighted a number of areas where improvements need to be made.

“The trust has taken immediate action to address these wherever possible and has produced a comprehensive action plan to prioritise and ensure that we comply fully with all of the requirements in the report.”

Of the trust’s five locations, Darent Valley Hospital and Elm Court Ward were rated as Requires Improvement, while Queen Mary’s Hospital was rated as Good.

Erith and District Hospital and Gravesham Community Hospital, have not yet been inspected.

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