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The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital responds to watchdog report that 'raised concern'

By TomBevan  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

"Striking the balance between providing hands-on care and documenting it has happened is a constant challenge for our staff."

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The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has responded to a report by a health watchdog that raised concerns following an unannounced visit.

The Care Quality Commission carried out a routine inspection at the RD&E in November and have now released a report on its findings.

Although the report outlines that “patients experienced care, treatment and support that met their needs and protected their rights” the trust was told action needed to be taken around “consent and treatment, quality assurance and records.”

The report stated that although patients were asked for their consent prior to treatment and the trust acted in accordance with their wishes, some of the records showed that the trust did not always act in accordance with legal requirements in relation to ‘do not attempt resuscitation’ orders. This meant that “inappropriate action could be taken that did not align with patient’s wishes or in their best interests.”

In response to the report Melanie Holley, Head of Governance at the RD&E, said:

“The CQC visited us for an unannounced inspection in November.

“We were delighted that during their visit, the inspectors were completely satisfied with the quality and standard of the care we offer. It is a tribute to our staff that patients spoke very highly of our services to the inspectors.

“We welcome these visits as they complement our own rigorous programme of audit and safeguarding and, if the inspectors bring any issues to our attention, we work quickly to address them.

“On this occasion, the inspectors found three areas in which they felt we needed to take action – all of them around documentation. Striking the balance between providing hands-on care and documenting it has happened is a constant challenge for our staff. We are disappointed that the inspectors found cases where individuals had not kept proper notes. Clearly this is not acceptable and we have plans in place to address this.

“For example, we have communicated with our medical staff, from consultant level down, the importance of completing the ‘treatment escalation plan’ form to record their discussions with patients and relatives. We have also introduced a new ‘checklist ‘ for topics that must be covered during surgical team briefings. We will be carrying out spot checks and audits to ensure staff are aware of their responsibilities and comply with the guidance.”

Read the full report here.

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