AN inspection has found that the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) has failed to meet an essential standard set by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The inspection, carried out in October 2012 on two wards of the Farnborough hospital, found that medicines were not always being kept or administered safely.

Medication rooms and refrigerators on the wards were left unlocked, while the temperature of the refrigerator on one ward was not monitored and found to be outside the normally expected range.

When medicines are not stored at the temperature stated by the manufacturer this may mean they are not fit for use.

Also, during an observation of the morning medicine round on one ward, prescription charts were signed to state that medicines had been taken even though they had only been left on the tables of patients, who were sleeping.

And by 11.30am a patient had still not taken one of their medicines as they needed it to be crushed.

South London Healthcare NHS Trust said: "The pharmacy department has put in place a number of procedures to ensure we fulfil the CQC's criteria for medicines management.

"These include increased training for staff in policies and procedures, and increased auditing and reporting around the medicines management systems.

"We are confident that we have policies and procedures in place to meet the CQC requirements."

The CQC's findings were published in a report on December 5 2012.