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Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS

Regulator carries out probe at Basildon Hospital

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Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have carried out a three-day unannounced inspection at Basildon Hospital.

The official report of the inspection, which started on Monday 21 January, will be delivered to the trust in the coming weeks.

The inspection follows the CQC branding children’s services at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust as “completely unacceptable” in November.

The regulator issued two warnings after “a number of serious incidents involving the care of children at the trust” – including the death of a child – sparked an initial unannounced inspection last year

The child who died had not been assessed within the 15 minutes target time at the trust’s paediatric accident and emergency department.

Trust chief executive Clare Panniker, said: “Although we did not know the exact date of the inspection the visit was expected following the passing of a dateline set by the CQC to improve standards following an earlier visit to our paediatric department in November.”

Meanwhile, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust has also admitted it failed to protect patients and visitors from Legionnaire’s disease.  

The trust has pleaded guilty to contravening the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act and failing to protect patients from risk of injury or death from the potentially deadly bacteria.

The charge, brought by the Health and Safety Executive, follows eight people contracting Legionnaire’s at Basildon Hospital between 2004 and 2010. At least one died as a result.

The trust entered its plea at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on 29 January. The case has been committed to Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing on 14 March.

Ms Panniker said:  “Experts agree that eradicating Legionella is practically impossible, but controlling it at Basildon Hospital has always been taken extremely seriously, with £5m invested and numerous changes and improvements made over the past seven years.

“The trust has not had any cases of Legionnaires Disease since 2011 and we continue to work robustly with all supporting agencies and experts, and the Health and Safety Executive, to do all we can to combat Legionella.”  

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