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Chief Inspector of Hospitals finds improvement at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

8 March 2018
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated South Warwickshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as Good overall following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

CQC inspectors visited the trust between 4 December 2017 and 11 January 2018 as part of a routine inspection.

The trust was seen to have made a number of improvements since its last inspection in March 2016, when it was rated as Requires Improvement overall. It is now rated as being Good for being effective, caring, responsive and well-led. It is rated as Requires Improvement for whether services are safe.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said:

“On our return to South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust we found a number of improvements had been made since our previous inspection and the trust is now rated as Good overall."

“During our inspection we noted a number of areas of outstanding practice. Inspectors were particularly impressed with what they saw in the trust’s maternity services and end of life care services and with the support provided to people using these services. The trust has also received national recognition for its work in maternity services in giving all round care to women and their babies."

“However there were areas where the trust must make further improvements. Work is particularly needed at the trust to ensure it does everything it can and has the right processes in place to ensure all of its services are safe."

“We have reported all our findings back to the trust and the trust board knows what it must do to bring about further improvement. We will continue to monitor progress at the trust and this will include further inspections.”

The improvements the trust has been told to make include that it must ensure staff are compliant with the safe storage and administration of medicines in medical care services, daily checks of emergency equipment, controlled medicines and medicine storage temperatures must be completed and that there is a system for ensuring daily checks are completed in maternity services.

Surgery checklists and swab counts must be completed in line with trust and national guidance in maternity services and patient risk assessment documentation, including venous thromboembolism risk assessments and sepsis screening, are completed.

In addition, the trust has been told staff must be compliant with effective infection control and prevention techniques in the emergency department and medicine care services. Staffing numbers must also be appropriate to meet clinical demands, including the provision of a suitably qualified children’s nurse in the emergency department.

Inspectors also found a number of areas of outstanding practice during the inspection and this included the trust’s maternity service, which had received national recognition for its electronic records system. The system allowed healthcare professional’s real-time access to women’s maternity notes, meaning staff could make informed decisions on patient care, management and treatment. Women also had access to their maternity records with the use of an electronic device.

In collaboration with two other local trusts, the service had also established a partnership model of midwifery supervision. This aimed to enhance the quality of care for women and babies and had received national recognition; being shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives 2018 Partnership Working award.

Inspectors saw an outstanding area of practice in end of life services. A new service in the community had been developed which provided specialist overnight care. Working in partnership, the trust and a local hospice developed a rapid response service to assess patients and provide care and support for people approaching the end of their lives between 10pm and 8am.

Full details of CQC’s inspection, its ratings for the trust, including a ratings grid, are given in the report published on our website.


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Last updated:
8 March 2018

Notes to editors

Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service:
  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?

Under CQC’s current programme of inspections, we aim to inspect every NHS trust at least once between June 2017 and spring 2019. We use information that we hold on each trust to inform our decision about when and what to inspect.

During the unannounced inspection we will normally look in detail at certain core services - based on previous inspection findings, as well as wider intelligence - followed by an inspection of how well-led a provider is.

Our previous inspections of NHS trusts have shown a strong link between the quality of overall management of a trust and the quality of its services. For that reason, all trust inspections now include inspection of the well-led key question at the trust level.

Each inspection team is led by a member of CQC’s staff and includes specialist professional advisors such as clinicians and pharmacists. Where appropriate, an inspection team will also include Experts by Experience. These are people who have experienced care personally or experience of caring for someone who has received a particular type of care.

How CQC monitors, inspects and regulates NHS trusts

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.