A hospital trust has been rated as requiring improvement again after inspectors found that vulnerable patients could access “hazardous materials” for a second time.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found cleaning products in unlocked ward cupboards at Southport and Formby Hospital during a 2017 inspection.

The CQC found the same problem during inspections in July and August.

The hospital’s trust said it was “human error” and staff had had more training.

During the CQC visits to Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust’s sites, inspectors found there was a risk of patients accessing cleaning products on three wards.

Concerns about the storage of the products were raised in the 2017 report.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said the officials also found some medicines that were past their expiry dates, patients whose needs were not always assessed and ‘do not resuscitate’ records that were not completed properly.

The CQC report also stated that inspectors were “not assured that the trust had oversight as to whether staff were competent”.

However, it praised the trust for having “developed a strategy and vision” since the last inspection and its outstanding practice in physiotherapy.

A spokesman for the trust said there was still “much work to do”, but “human error” had led to cleaning products being accessible in both 2017 and 2019.

He added that staff had been retrained and additional secure storage equipment had been purchased.

Chief executive Therese Patten said the report showed the trust was “on track to meet our ambition of being rated good by 2020”.

Report by The BBC