Care Quality Commission lifts threat of action at Leicester Royal Infirmary
A health watchdog has lifted its threat of action against Leicester Royal Infirmary following a series of improvements at the hospital.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued a warning notice to the infirmary in June, saying the hospital was not meeting certain standards.
Inspectors discovered medicines were not always being locked away or stored properly and that not enough was being done to support and listen to staff.
Following a spot check in November, the CQC found bosses at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust had made improvements to make sure the hospital was meeting all the necessary standards.
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In their latest report, inspectors said: "The trust has replaced a significant number of drug fridges to ensure that medicines were kept appropriately and securely at lower temperatures.
"Drug cupboards now have either a key or digital lock to ensure the security of medications."
Inspectors also found that there had been improvements in staff communication with managers in the emergency department and medical assessment unit.
They said: "Staff told us that senior managers were more visible and often 'walked the floor'.
"There were a range of forums and meetings for staff to attend and meet senior managers to have a say in developments at the trust.
"These included breakfast with the CEO (chief executive officer).
"Staff felt supported and staffing levels ensured patients received the standard of care required."
Inspectors said the appointment of an interim director of operations and the splitting of the chief nurse and chief operating officer roles "should strengthen the management capacity of the organisation".
They said improvements had been made to audit and risk-assessment systems.
A check at Leicester General Hospital on December 5 found it was meeting all standards.
One patient told the CQC inspection team: "Staff are lovely, it's very calm. The matron does a good job, checking on things all the time."
Another said: "I have no complaints. I was worried when I came in but they have had a calming influence."
A similar check at Glenfield Hospital on November 22 found that it was also meeting all the necessary standards.
One patient told inspectors: "Staff are fabulous and very, very kind. They understand what you need."
Suzanne Hinchliffe, chief nurse at the hospitals trust, said: "Following recent visits, the CQC confirmed all three of our hospitals are compliant against its standards.
"This is excellent news and very pleasing for all of us.
"Since receiving some criticism earlier in the year, we have invested in new medicine fridges and staff told CQC inspectors they feel better communicated with and had opportunity to attend breakfast meetings with directors."