Statement on North Middlesex Hospital Care Quality Commission report

Today the Care Quality Commission published a damning report demonstrating significant failings at North Middlesex Hospital that has been widely covered in the media by the BBC, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, and Sky News.

I have been calling on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to step in and take action to address the situation and North Middlesex for months, and together with my fellow Members of Parliament Joan Ryan, Kate Osamor, Catherine West and David Burrowers I will continue to call on the Department of Health and NHS leadership to address what are very grave safety concerns.

Today I have published the following statement:

"This a truly damning CQC report that has been sat on for months, and frankly it’s even worse than I feared.

Not only has the Emergency Department been left in the care of junior doctors but it now emerges that all patients arriving by ambulance were assessed and treated by nurses without any input from a doctor at all. It shocks and appals me that this situation has been left for so long without an intervention from the Health Secretary and the way that this has been covered up is nothing short of a scandal.

I first wrote to the Secretary of State in March raising my concerns and requesting an urgent meeting, but since then my calls for answers and action has gone unheard.

I am also shocked to learn from the final publication of the CQC report that there was no clinical director of the Emergency Department for 6 months, that there was a lack of dignity and respect for patients on wards, that patients weren’t getting the food and drink they needed, that medication administration, storage and recording were not carried out safely, that there were omissions in risk assessments and inaccuracies in patients’ records and that there were not enough nurses to keep the hospital functioning to an acceptable and safe standard.

I am also very disappointed that in a meeting just last week between myself, the junior minister and my fellow local MP’s the extent of the problems at North Middlesex were still being hidden – we were promised that enough senior doctors are being provided in the emergency department, yet when CQC inspectors returned last week there were still only “moves to appoint more senior doctors”. No mention was even made to us of the grave problems in the rest of the hospital.

There is no doubt that this failure goes straight to the top and that the Secretary of State must account for why no action was taken in March when I first raised this dire situation with him".

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