Isle Of Wight NHS Trust In Special Measures

Isle of Wight NHS Trust will be be placed into special measures after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission found "people were exposed to unacceptable risk of harm".

The health regulator rated the trust overall as inadequate after the inspection over five days in November and January.

Ambulance Services and Mental Health services were rated as Inadequate. Acute services provided at St Mary's Hospital and Community Health services, were rated as Requires Improvement.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: "The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is unique in England as an integrated provider of acute, ambulance, community and mental health services

"Since our last inspection in June 2014 we have found a number of significant concerns particularly in the mental health and ambulance services, which is why I have made a recommendation to NHS Improvement that the trust should be placed into special measures.

"My inspectors found people were exposed to unacceptable risk of harm. On the mental health wards staff did not always report safeguarding incidents to their local teams and wards were not holding local records of ongoing safeguarding concern. There was poor communication of safeguarding concerns when patients were transferred between services.

"Since this latest inspection we have been assured by the trust that there have been changes to their safeguarding procedures to ensure that incidents are properly reported and investigated."

Leadership at the trust was found to be poor and there was low morale. Inspectors also found throughout the trust a culture of subtle bullying from staff.

Last month, ahead of the damning report, Karen Baker, the former chief executive of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, decided to stand down from her role and executive medical director, Dr Mark Pugh, has been appointed acting chief executive.

The Trust Board expects to confirm the appointment of an interim Chief Executive very soon and will then begin the process of recruiting a new, permanent Chief Executive.

Trust: "We Have Let Down Our Patients"

The Trust Chair, Eve Richardson, said: "This report is highly critical of the health services provided by this Trust. I want to be clear that the Trust accepts this report without reservation. We have let down our patients and our local community and on behalf of the Trust board and our staff I apologise unreservedly for this failure. Our sole focus now is to absorb the lessons contained within this report, to develop, with our partners, an effective and comprehensive improvement programme and to ensure it is implemented as swiftly as possible.

The CQC report is based on a combination of what inspectors found when they inspected the Trust in late 2016 and early 2017 and information given to them by patients and carers, the public, NHS staff and other organisations.

The CQC found staff shortages in some areas along with outdated and bureaucratic practices and concluded that, "the trust had not made sufficient progress to improve services as required at the last inspection."

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust provides acute, ambulance, community and mental health services to a population of 140,000 people.

Inspectors found that despite the pressures, there were many areas where staff were dedicated and committed to patient care. Staff did their upmost to provide care that was compassionate, involved patients in decision making and provided good emotional support to patients and those close to them.

The CQC will return to undertake further inspections, including unannounced visits, to check that the necessary improvements have been made.

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