A trust that has faced serious questions about care quality in the past year is focusing on monitoring and reducing transfers to improve safety.
In April the Care Quality Commission told Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust it must improve or face fines and in November health intelligence organisation Dr Foster accused it of poor patient safety standards.
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The regulator gave the trust the all clear in June and its quality account, published in the same month, says it is “critical the trust takes tangible, effective and definitive action to reduce or eliminate the causes of both the perceived and real concerns”.
One of the main improvements planned is to reduce patient transfers and implement a “right patient, right bed” policy of accommodating patients in the correct place, so they do not have to be transferred.
A trust spokesman said it had collected information on the number of bed moves and was working to improve recording and IT systems so it can monitor moves that are not clinically justified.
The trust’s quality account said the problems highlighted by the CQC were related to an “unprecedented demand” on its services, particularly during the winter months of 2009-10. To cope with the pressures the trust had to put patients in “temporary beds with temporary staff or staff moved from other parts of the hospital”.
Trying to follow “right patient, right bed… was compromised by the extreme demands placed on the hospital”, particularly in the winter, the account says.
To address the problems the trust has opened more beds and hired extra nurses. It is also developing a new bed management system and a way to measure non-clinical moves. It is hoped this will improve care quality.
The quality account says decreasing the number of moves can reduce healthcare associated infections.