Plenty to be proud of in CQC inspection report of Trust’s hospitals

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today published its report on the inspection of the Trust’s hospitals, which took place back in October 2015. The key findings were:

  • Overall, the Trust was rated as requiring improvement – which was the anticipated outcome and is the rating received by nearly 70% of acute trusts inspected by the CQC to date;
  • Over two thirds of the areas reviewed by the CQC rated good or
  • In total, the report highlighted 19 different areas of outstanding practice and six areas where changes need to be 
  • Following the changes made at the Lister and QEII since 2010, those services that were brought together earlier – for example surgery and critical care – fared much better than those who underwent similar changes more recently.

Reflecting on the report’s findings, the Trust’s chief executive, Nick Carver, said:

“Back in October last year, our staff – as well as our colleagues from partner organisations – worked hard to make sure that our CQC inspectors were welcomed and got to see our services, talk openly with our patients and were able to look at whatever they needed to during their time at our hospitals. We knew beforehand that the bar to get a good rating was set very high – and we were also aware that there were some services where further improvements were needed. As a result, we went in to our inspection expecting to be rated as requiring improvement.

“At this stage in the Trust’s development, that is a fair assessment overall, but it masks a degree of variation between our services:

  • The Trust was praised for strong multi-disciplinary working, where different teams involved in a patient’s care come together to discuss treatment;
  • Surgery services at the Lister were rated as good across the board – one of the few times in any CQC inspection nationally when this has been achieved. In particular, the inspectors remarked upon the high quality of our day surgery, ophthalmology and urology robotic surgical services;
  • Critical care at the Lister, along with outpatient and diagnostic services at the Lister, New QEII and Hertford County, were all rated good;
  • Community health services for children, young people and families were viewed as being good – and outstanding for caring;
  • The picture was more mixed for the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, where radiotherapy and outpatient services were judged to be good, with more work needing to be done around medical, chemotherapy and end-of-life care;
  • At the Lister, improvements were identified for medical care and some aspects of our maternity, children’s and end-of-life care services;
  • Within our medical care services, several were highlighted for their great performance, including renal medicine, diabetes, respiratory and cardiology. Although inspected, the inspectors did not rate formally the Bedford and Harlow renal units – but they did comment very positively on the quality of care provided;
  • The biggest challenges were identified in the Trust’s urgent and emergency services covering the Lister and to a lesser extent the New QEII

The Trust’s new chair, Ellen Schroder – who took up her role on 1 April 2016 – said:

“I understand that immediately following the visit last October, the inspection team provided feedback to the senior Trust team – including changes needed to some aspects of the Lister’s emergency department.

“I was very pleased to see that the Care Quality Commission views the Trust Board as a stable team, with a good understanding of the challenges and a commitment to address them. In particular, the chief executive was seen as highly visible and approachable.

“It is clear that since last October, the Trust’s staff have worked hard to address the matters raised at the time of the inspection, keeping the Care Quality Commission team aware of the progress being made. Further improvements have been planned and will continue to take place.

“There is still plenty to be done, of course, as we implement the action plan that has been agreed with the NHS locally following the inspection report being shared more widely with our partners. Whilst committed to making improvements, we must remember that there is also a great deal to celebrate with our staff, who work so hard every day to ensure that our patients receive high quality care at all times. We very much welcome the Care Quality Commission’s report as it helps us now to focus our efforts on ensuring that we improve our services even further for the benefit of both patients and our staff.”

The CQC will publish its full report on its website  during 5 April 2016.