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‘Positive’ watchdog report into Gorleston’s James Paget Hospital welcomed

PUBLISHED: 17:56 27 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:56 27 February 2013

General view of the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston, Norfolk

October 2011

Picture: James Bass

General view of the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston, Norfolk October 2011 Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A watchdog report into a Norfolk hospital has been hailed as “positive” after inspectors found it was meeting standards in all areas – but flagged up minor concerns over staffing levels.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an unannounced inspection at the James Paget University Hospital (JPH) at the beginning of February, and this week published its findings, which show the site is meeting standards in care and welfare, cleanliness and infection control and nutritional needs.

The report also shows patients’ privacy, dignity and independence are respected at the Gorleston hospital and that it is meeting staffing standards, including training.

But inspectors said while visiting two wards, patients told them there was “insufficient staff” to help them go to the toilet or use a commode and, as a result, they were incontinent, compromising their dignity.

The report added, however, that on the day of the inspection one ward was short staffed due to employee sickness and hospital bosses were working to address shortages.

The JPH came under fire in 2011/12 after it was handed three warning notices by the CQC. But by June last year it was given a clean bill of health after all the notices were lifted.

Patrick Thompson, chairman of patient group Norfolk Link, was pleased with the report, which showed the JPH had made sustained progress since getting the all clear.

He said: “The progression has to be sustained and I think the Paget is only too aware of that.

“What pleases me is that the Paget is aiming to achieve greater things than the CQC standards, which is excellent.”

Mr Thompson acknowledged inspectors’ comments over staffing but said bosses were working to fill vacancies – with all but three hoped to be taken up by March – and with a new chief executive taking up the reins in the summer, the hospital faced a positive future.

Current chief executive David Hill said the hospital had come “full circle” and the issues from a year ago were now “firmly behind us” with confirmation from the CQC that standards had been sustained.

He added: “We are not complacent and will continue to focus on not only maintaining the standards but exceeding them. Everyone associated with the James Paget should be proud of those achievements.”

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