MP’s concerns over Walsall hospital inspection after medicine management issues raised

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Walsall South MP Valerie Vaz said she was concerned following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) follow-up inspection into the medicine core service at the town’s Manor Hospital.

Inspectors said, despite making some improvements, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust still needed to do better in the area of the safe management of medicines, following an unannounced visit in June.

This had come on the back of a previous inspection in October which resulted in a ‘requires improvement’ rating and a warning being issued.

Mrs Vaz said: “I am concerned that the latest CQC inspection report continues to rate the Manor Hospital as ‘requires improvement’ following a Section 29a warning notice issued in October 2022 regarding the safe management of medicines.

“The Inspection on June 20 focused on the medicine core services and the report states that despite improvements in the safe management of medicines, staff at Manor Hospital did not always follow systems, processes, or national practices, when handling and administering medicines.

“This is yet another report raising concerns about issues at the Manor despite the CQC recognising that the hospital has made improvements.

“It does not mention the accountability of the management board for the issues it raises.

“NHS England decided that the merger of Walsall Healthcare and Royal Wolverhampton NHS trusts in 2021 would benefit patients.

“The CQC’s report makes no mention of the impact the joint leadership of the two trusts has had on the staff or service at Manor Hospital.

“In my view it is the responsibility of hospital management to ensure the systems and processes for the safe management of medicines are followed to keep patients safe.”

In response to the CQC report, Dr Manjeet Shehmar, Chief Medical Officer at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Following a CQC visit in October 2022, and the inspectors’ subsequent report, Walsall Healthcare has been working hard to improve all elements of medicines management including training, communication and governance.

“We have taken the feedback very seriously and have prioritised the change needed, recognising that continuous improvement requires an ongoing focus across the organisation with dedicated resource and oversight.

“A multidisciplinary trust-wide action plan is well underway to address the issues found by inspectors, this includes the implementation of a dashboard that provides near real-time visibility of medicine safety issues with prompt actions to address any concerns identified, medicine management rolling assurance audits at ward and prescriber level, roll out of electronic storage cabinets and work up to an electronic prescribing system.

“A training and educational programme is in place to ensure standards for medicines management are met to improve our patients’ experience.”

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