York hospital action plan after watchdog warning

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The trust said it recognised the seriousness of concerns raised

Specialist nurses have been recruited at York and Scarborough hospitals to ensure patients are being fed properly.

It is part of an action plan by the hospitals trust to address criticisms by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The commission issued a warning notice over patient care following an inspection of York Hospital in March.

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it recognised the seriousness of the concerns raised and was making improvements.

The inspection was carried out because the CQC said it had received "significant safety concerns about fundamental standards of patient care".

It issued the trust with a section 29A warning notice in response to its ineffective systems for managing patient risk assessments, nutrition and hydration, pressure area care and falls prevention.

The trust has submitted its action plan to the commission, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Chief nurse Heather McNair told inspectors while "a number of actions have been completed to improve quality and safety across the organisation", there was "much work to do".

"The increased visibility of specialist nurses in nutrition and hydration should increase knowledge and education for staff whilst also ensuring a safety net for patients with complex nutrition and hydration needs," Ms McNair wrote.

The health watchdog also raised concerns about staffing levels, but the trust said it had not in the short-term been able to increase staffing levels.

However, it had reduced the number of beds on one ward and shut another to increase staffing levels elsewhere in the hospital.

In a report to the board in July, trust chief executive Simon Morrit said: "We absolutely recognise the seriousness of the concerns raised by the CQC" and said a number of actions had been taken to "improve quality and safety across the organisation".

A full inspection of York hospital is due to take place within three months.

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