Hospital axes surgical beds after review

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THE number of surgical beds at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) has been cut after the hospital failed to meet the needs of patients in an independent review.

The hospital was judged as failing to meet essential standards of care in three out of 16 categories after a routine inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC said that although the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust provided safe care to RLI patients, areas which required improvements were:

* Patients not being well supported individually to have adequate food and drink. Staff will now receive refresher training, and additional mealtime dining assistants will be recruited.

* Although there were enough staff to provide basic care to patients in the surgical division, it was not sufficient to meet their individual and holistic needs. The division has temporarily increased part-time hours and cut the number of beds from 26 to 19 while it recruits additional staff.

* The trust does not always act promptly to coordinate a response to an escalated complaint. It has now started a review of the complaints procedures and systems used, is retraining staff and is recruiting extra customer care staff.

See the Lancaster Guardian (30-06-11) for full story.