Improvements have been shown at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) publishes its latest report.
Inspectors visited the trust, which continues to be rated as Requires Improvement, in July, August and September. They looked at a number of services and spoke to patients and staff about the care provided.
The trust retained its Good rating for caring, and improved its rating for effectiveness from Requires Improvement to Good.
Examples of outstanding practice were found in children and young people’s services at Lister Hospital and in radiotherapy services at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre.
The New QEII and Lister Hospitals both showed improvements, with surgery at the Lister moving from an Inadequate to Requires Improvement rating.
The inspectors found that:
- Staff continued to deliver compassionate care and treated patients and their loved ones with respect and dignity
- Leaders at all levels worked hard to be visible and approachable
- At the Lister the children and young people’s play team delivered an outstanding service to young patients and those whose parents were acutely unwell
- At the New QEII it was easy for people to give feedback about their care, and action was taken as a result
- At Mount Vernon, the staff worked together as a team and were committed to continually learning and improving services – including pilot schemes to improve access and reducing referral time for head and neck cancer patients from 50 days to 17 days
The report also highlighted areas for the trust to improve – particularly around medicines management, maintaining equipment and premises, and ensuring that audits are conducted across the trust. Work is already underway to improve these areas as part of the trust’s quality improvement programme.
Trust Chief Executive Nick Carver said:
“We welcome the report from the CQC, and we are pleased that it shows improvement in many areas. Our fantastic staff work hard every day to make sure our services are the best they can be – and that patients are treated safely and with compassion.
“I am particularly pleased at the progress at the New QEII, and in our surgery teams over the last year.
“We know that we still have a lot of work to do, to ensure improvements in the areas highlighted by the inspectors and to support our ambition of achieving a Good rating from the CQC. We are already working with our staff, patients and our partners on these areas to ensure that the people of East and North Hertfordshire continue to receive the best care.”