REDDITCH'S Alexandra Hospital has been slammed by inspectors who said overcrowding is a major concern and people were treated on corridors too frequently.

Prompted by patient safety concerns, The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the emergency departments at both Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Alexandra Hospital in December last year.

Inspectors found people waited too long for assessment and treatment.

They also found patients were treated on corridors too frequently, and not referred to specialists quickly enough.

Following the inspection, CQC rated the departments Inadequate.

Both departments were previously rated Requires Improvement, following an inspection in May 2019.

CQC chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: "Overcrowding was our biggest concern in Alexandra Hospital’s emergency department. The layout of the department and too few cubicles led to it becoming overwhelmed quickly, posing a risk to patient safety."

He added that in both departments a lack of capacity and capability was also an issue - one the CQC had been raising since 2015.

He said the response so far has been "insufficient" and new improvement plans have not been good enough.

Professor Baker said: “However, in both departments we saw professional and caring staff who remained cheerful and engaged with patients, even when working under pressure."

Following the inspection CQC used its urgent enforcement powers, telling the trust it must act now to to protect people.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been told it must make improvements in both emergency departments, including:

• Ensuring ambulance handovers are timely and effective

• Assessing all patients in a timely manner, and ensuring assessment and treatment takes place in appropriate environments

• Ensuring patients receive timely medical and specialty reviews

• Providing consultant and nurse cover that meets national guidelines, with trainee consultants not being classed as ‘consultants’ on rotas

• Fully implementing trust-wide actions to reduce overcrowding

• Maintaining patient privacy and dignity