Hospital inspectors find unlocked drugs cabinet during unannounced visit

Patients also complained about poor food served to them

An unlocked drugs cabinet was discovered when inspectors carried out a routine check at hospitals in Brent.

The Care Quality Commission paid three unannounced visits to Northwick Park and Central Middlesex Hospital in August and September as part of its inspection process. On its second visit, an unlocked drug cupboard was found along with an unlocked fridge, oral suspension bottles with no date and medication left on the bottom of a drug trolley.

Patients also complained about the temperature and quality of food.

It is not sure from the report which hospital was responsible.

A spokeswoman for North West London Hospitals Trust, which manages both hospitals, said: “We take the issue of patient safety very seriously, and this was evident during the inspection.

“Unfortunately, on that day the drug cupboard had a broken lock, which had already been reported for repair.

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“Although a fridge was unlocked, it was actually shut away in a cupboard, so could only be accessed by a staff member who knew the entry code for the keypad.

“The bottles should have been dated and medication should not have been left on a trolley, so we have reminded ward sisters and matrons about the safe storage of medicines and the need to look out for issues such as this when they are on their rounds.”