Advising with empathy and experience

York Hospital Trust requires improvement.


YORK Hospital trust has been told it must improve following an inspection which raised questions about the safety of its services.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has overall been rated as requiring improvement by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors raised concerns about low staffing levels and how long patients wait in A&E before clinically assessment and the wait for cancer referral waiting time targets.

Inspectors highlighted chronic staffing shortages and noted that, at the time of the inspection earlier this year, there were 98 ward-based nursing vacancies in York and Scarborough Hospitals.

However, the report praises hospital staff for being caring and compassionate towards patients. The CQC also found the service to be effective overall.

In detailing areas for improvement, the CQC said: "York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was unable to consistently provide safe staffing levels. There were shortages of nursing staff on medical, and some surgical, wards; consultant cover within A&E; and community inpatient staff. The trust was actively trying to recruit for most of these roles.

"Patients were often waiting too long for treatment. The national targets for A & E, referral-to-treatment, and cancer waiting times were not being achieved. Inspectors noted that patients arriving in both A & E departments at York and Scarborough hospitals sometimes had to wait too long for a clinical assessment of their condition."

At York Hospital, inspectors expressed concern about the operation of ward 24, the winter pressures ward in York, and that the trust was not meeting its own target of 75 per cent compliance with mandatory training including safeguarding training.

It was noted 10,000 medical records were not "completely secured" at one of the trust's community locations. Concerns were also flagged up by staff at the trust's hospitals in Bridlington and Scarborough that there is lack of senior leadership on site.

Chief executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Patrick Crowley, said: “We are a hair’s breadth away from an overall ‘Good’ rating, with three quarters of the scores as such. When you look beyond the headline rating and read the reports and ratings in full, it is clear that there are many areas of excellent practice across all of our services, and these have been highlighted by the CQC."