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NHS trust ordered to improve safety

An NHS trust has been urged to improve several areas, including safeguarding people from abuse, amid concerns it does not meet quality and safety standards.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates health and adult social care in England, made the calls after a review into standards at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The review, which included an unannounced inspection at Lincoln County Hospital in June, assessed the trust's compliance with new quality and safety standards, which came into effect from April 1.

Inspectors said although there were examples of good quality care, the trust was not fully meeting four standards relating to safeguarding people from abuse; respecting and involving people who use services; management of medicines; and supporting workers.

Although the breaches were not "immediate risks" to safety, the CQC said the trust must set out action it will take to improve the four areas. If progress is not made, the watchdog will take enforcement action.

Concerns included patients sometimes waiting up to four hours in the theatre recovery area after their surgical procedure because of a high demand for beds on wards. With no toilets in the area, people had to use a bed pan, compromising their dignity.

Inspectors also found not all staff were clear about what to do if they suspected a patient was being abused, and not all had received training on the protection of vulnerable adults.

Some staff left medication at patients' bedsides and did not always give them help to take it when needed, they said.

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