THE Trust in charge of Herefordshire's hospitals has been ordered to make improvements by a 'concerned' health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the Wye Valley NHS Trust as 'requires improvement' following an inspection carried out during November and December 2019.

A team of CQC inspectors visited core services at the trust including urgent and emergency care, surgery, maternity, medicine and critical care. Community inpatient, adult and end of life services were also inspected.

The Trust was only rated 'good' in one of six areas the CQC inspects which looks at how caring staff are. It was said staff cared for patients with compassion.

The five areas which look at if services are safe, effective, responsive and well-led, as well as if resources are used productively, all require improvement.

Inspectors said while urgent and emergency care was safe, surgery was inadequate in this area. Staff did not always use equipment and control measures to protect patients and others from infection, as well as not doing enough to minimise risk.

"The service did not always have enough nursing and support staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep patients safe from avoidable harm and to provide the right care and treatment," the report added.

The Trust's leadership was slammed as inspectors said "not all leaders had the integrity, skills and abilities to run the service" and "not all staff said they felt respected, supported and valued", although they were focused on patient care.

The chief inspector of hospitals said the Trust, which provides services to a population of 180,000 people in Herefordshire and 40,000 in mid-Powys, said inspectors were impressed by the improvements in the urgent and emergency service since the last visit. It is now rated as good.

Professor Ted Baker added: “There are, however, areas we remain concerned about which the trust must focus their attention on. For example, surgery services at Hereford County Hospital were rated inadequate overall.

“Most staff told were proud to work for the trust, but they also felt a lot of pressure to achieve results despite having a lack of some essential resources."

Wye Valley NHS Trust has been approached for comment.