Poor standards of care at an accident and emergency unit in one of England’s flagship hospitals may have contributed to the unnecessary deaths of over 400 patients, an official NHS investigation has concluded.
Dirty equipment and an absence of leadership contributed to a death rate almost 40% above the national average among emergency admissions to the 770-bed Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, inspectors said.
The unit had blood stains on the floor, dirty curtains, stinking mattresses and soiled equipment; nurses who failed to monitor, feed and give drugs to patients correctly; and a rate of pressure sores almost twice the national average. Instead of the national four-hour maximum waiting time for A&E, the trust had a 10-hour waiting time.
The Care Quality Commission, which published the findings yesterday, said it had “lost confidence” in the management of the trust, after repeated requests to address the problems had failed to deliver results.