‘Poor leadership and culture of bullying’: Damning report brands Whipps Cross hospital inadequate

Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone. Picture: Wikimedia Commons - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A lack of compassion, staff shortages across the board and accusations of bullying were just some of the concerns raised in a damning report on Whipps Cross hospital.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) this week branded the university hospital in Leytonstone “inadequate” following an inspection in July.

Describing the end of life care, the report said: “One patient looked dirty with stains all down the front of their nightwear and staff had neither noticed it nor took any action to wash and care for the patient.”

The hospital which serves Wanstead and Woodford is run by Barts Health NHS Trust, which was placed in special measures last year after CQC inspectors found serious failings throughout the trust.

“Our inspection of Whipps Cross University Hospital has highlighted a number of serious concerns surrounding poor leadership, a culture of bullying, and low staffing which has led to risks to patient safety,” said chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards.

“In some areas there has been little progress - and this has been affecting the quality and safety of patient care.”

Alwen Williams, Barts Health chief executive, said the trust was doing all it could to improve.

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She said: “Barts Health will leave no stone unturned to further improve care. Since inspectors visited staff took immediate action to swiftly address specific concerns raised by the CQC.”

One of the most concerning findings was “infection control issues” caused by surgical staff wearing their supposedly sterile clothing and footwear throughout the hospital.

In one case the report highlights, a woman with diarrhoea was transferred to a ward following surgery without any staff being informed of her condition, resulting in other patients on the ward being exposed to infection.

When asked about staffing levels, one staff member claimed they no longer reported being understaffed because it was such a regular occurrence it would need to be reported constantly.

Ms Williams claimed the inspection results were proof the trust was moving in the right direction.

She said: “These reports make clear that the quality of care for patients at our hospitals is getting better all the time. I’m very grateful for the dedication and passion our staff show every day and night.

“We still have much to do and we must tackle all the areas where we are still letting our patients down, as well as taking inspiration from where we are doing well.”