Aintree hospital probed over infection control failures

Published: 17-Jun-2013

Monitor launches investigation amid concern over infection rates and A&E and transfer delays at Aintree University Hospital

Health regulator, Monitor, has launched an investigation into infection control rates at Aintree University Hospital.

It is one of the first health centres to come under scrutiny as part of Monitor’s new provider licence regulatory regime, which came into force in April this year.

The action follows breaches in the control of MRSA and C.difficile infections and the hospital’s failure on referral-for treatment and A&E waiting time targets.

Catherine Beardshaw, chief executive of Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said of its infection prevention regime: “The board is disappointed and extremely concerned about our overall infection control performance in 2012/13. We have revised our action plans and have now seen a reduction in the number of C.difficile cases reported in the last two months. Additionally, we have invited an independent expert to work with us to understand why our MRSA figures have increased in 2012/13.

On the other issues, she added: “In line with many other trusts in England, Aintree has experienced difficulties in our ability to safely discharge patients because of pressure in the local health system. This has had a knock-on effect on our A&E performance during recent months.

"A second consequence of the pressure in our hospital has been that we have had to cancel some routine surgical operations, resulting in a failure to deliver our Referral to Treatment Target (RTT). This issue has now been resolved.”

And commenting on Monitor’s probe, she said: “We will be meeting with Monitor in the coming weeks to discuss our plans. After this we will find out if Monitor believes any further action is required and, if so, what form this will take.”

Yvonne Mowlds, regional director at Monitor, said that under the new system inspectors aim to identify problems at an early stage. She added: “Monitor has not yet reached a view as to whether there has been any breach of the licence conditions.

“Patients expect to see their services run well and by investigating at this early stage we can make sure that the trusts are able to address any issues quickly and effectively.”

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