HEATHERWOOD Hospital's bosses must do more to ensure that up-to-date equipment is being used and treatment is being recorded properly.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates health and social care providers across England, has ordered Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to improve within a month or face disciplinary action.

All health and social care providers in England have been scrutinised in order to join a mandatory new register with the CQC, which will monitor them and will have the power to issue warnings, conditions, fines and even closure orders.

CQC regional director Roxy Boyce said in the commission's report published on Thursday last week: "The trust must address urgently the shortfalls in equipment provision.

"Old or poorly-maintained equipment can present risks to the safety of patients and we are concerned that the trust is not acting quickly enough to ensure it knows exactly what risks it is facing, and to address them.

"We also expect the trust to address concerns about clinical governance.

"Governance and audit systems determine the quality of service provided and help to manage risks and we are concerned that necessary improvements should happen quickly.

"The trust itself has highlighted a number of other areas where improvements are needed and we will also be checking to make sure these are made." The CQC also expressed concern that the trust was not meeting its target for participation in heart disease audits in 2008/9 and its targets for A&E, where it had "significant data problems" and had not been recording some patient and waiting time information. All the improvements must be made by the end of the month.

The trust's chief executive, Julie Burgess, said: "The trust was already aware that we needed to take action in these areas, which is why the trust declared itself non-compliant against this at the time of application.

"Both these issues relate to historical problems, we have been working hard across the trust to address them and I am confident that we will be able to achieve the CQC requirements in the next four weeks.

"The CQC assessment of trusts is rigorous, and our patients should feel reassured that we have met all other conditions and we are on track to meet these two by the end of April." All 378 NHS trusts are now registered with the CQC but Heatherwood and Wexham was one of only 22 registered with conditions.

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Bracknell-based mental healthcare provider Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust were registered without condition.