THE heads of Leeds hospitals have publicly apologised to patients after care standards were heavily criticised.
As reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post last month, bosses at Leeds General Infirmary were given an official warning after a visit from inspectors.
Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ordered an improvement in standards.
A team visited three wards at LGI in an unannounced inspection in March and found problems with short-staffing, patients not being attended to quickly enough and some having their wishes ignored.
Now hospital directors have apologised in public for the poor care.
Mike Collier, chairman of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, told a meeting of hospital directors: “What they discovered is far, far short of where we aspire to be.
“I also want to formally apologise to those patients and their relatives and carers for any shortfall in the service that we gave them.
“It’s quite clear on those occasions we did fall short and we owe them an apology.”
The CQC’s visited followed a previous check last year when concerns were raised about staffing levels.
Maggie Boyle, chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said they were “shocked and dismayed” at the outcome of the latest visit, especially the feedback about patient care.
She said ward 53 was immediately closed and patients who did not need hospital care were discharged.
Following the inspection, a review of all adult in-patient wards had been done, specifically looking at staffing and care.
Miss Boyle said staff numbers at the hospital compared favourably with other similar hospitals.
But she added that because staff were unavailable, “not all wards had the staff they required for every shift”.
“We have taken steps to make sure that all wards are staffed to the levels we believe are consistent with safe and effective care,” she added.
She said their own assessment had shown some patients were waiting too long for their needs to be met, while some said staff did not always speak to patients in an appropriate way.
Miss Boyle added: “We want to apologise unreservedly to anyone who was in receipt of poor care.”
She said they were doing everything possible to ensure that standards were high throughout the city’s hospitals.
A further visit by inspectors to check on improvements is expected this month.