THE trust running Redditch's Alexandra Hospital has responded over patient safety fears following the publication of a damning Care Quality Commission (CQC) report.

Prompted by patient safety concerns, CQC inspected the emergency departments at both Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Alexandra Hospital in December last year.

Following the inspection, CQC rated the departments Inadequate.

READ MORE: Alexandra Hospital emergency department Inadequate says CQC

Responding to the report, Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Despite the enormous efforts of our staff, alongside GPs, community staff and social care, we know that some patients are still waiting too long to get into our Emergency Departments or are spending too long in the Emergency Departments waiting to be moved onto a ward.

"On behalf of the Trust and all of our partners across the county, we apologise for this.

“This is yet another reminder of why it’s so important that every organisation in our local health and care system is working together to close the gap between the capacity we have to care for patients who need urgent or emergency care and the growing number of people in need of that care.

“Although the focus of this report is on our Emergency Departments (EDs), to resolve many of the difficulties that it highlights will require the active involvement of teams across our hospitals and in our partner organisations.

“Our ED staff are rightly praised in the report for their compassion, team work and resilience despite working in extremely difficult conditions.

“We know there is more our Trust has to do – and we are absolutely committed to doing it."

He added: “Since the CQC visit we have, for example, increased the number of nurses in our EDs at the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals and increased the number of senior doctors working in our Acute Medical team in the afternoons and evenings at Worcestershire Royal.

“We are continuing to make more improvements as part of our HomeFirst Worcestershire programme, which is actively supported by clinical and managerial teams from across our Trust as well as our system partners.

“This week saw the launch of Onward Care Teams (OCTs) at both the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal. The OCTs bring together social care staff, community nurses and discharge nurses.

“The OCTs work closely with our ward teams to ensure that patients who no longer need an acute hospital bed are able to go home, or wherever they call home, or move on to another care setting, in a safe and timely way. That in turn helps to improve patient flow and frees up beds for patients most in need of them, easing pressure on our EDs and improving ambulance handovers.

“Next week we will open an additional 33 new beds at Worcestershire Royal, in addition to the beds we have already added across the WRH and Alexandra sites over the past year.

“Everything that we and our partners are doing will help us to make sure that more patients get the right care in the right place at the right time – not only in our hospitals but also at home or in community settings.

“We will continue to work hard to support our ED teams – but this is not a problem they can solve without our support and the continuing active involvement of the whole of our health and care system.”