• Hospital
  • NHS hospital

Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NA (01256) 473202

Provided and run by:
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

All Inspections

16 November 2021

During an inspection looking at part of the service

We carried out this unannounced focused inspection of maternity services because we received information giving us concerns about the safety and quality of the service.

Information of concern had been received from several sources about the maternity services across the trust. This included staff whistleblowing, patient complaints and information from other regulatory bodies.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides maternity services at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital and Andover War Memorial Hospital. This report focuses on our findings at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

This inspection has not changed the rating of the location overall. However, our rating of maternity went down because our ratings limiters were applied due to enforcement action.

We did not change the rating of the hospital. Our rating of maternity safe and well led went down. We rated them as requires improvement because:

  • We found breaches of regulations reducing the quality of care or people’s experience and have taken enforcement action under regulations for safety, safeguarding and governance. Our ratings rules say that in these circumstances the rating will normally be limited to requires improvement.

How we carried out the inspection

Our inspection was unannounced (staff did not know we were coming) to enable us to observe routine activities in maternity services. We carried out a focused inspection related to the concerns raised. This did not include all of our key lines of enquiry (KLOEs). We looked at KLOEs specific to the domains: safe, effective and well-led.

We visited clinical areas including the delivery suite, the postnatal and antenatal ward and the maternity day assessment unit (MDAU).

We spoke with 20 staff, including service leads, midwives (bands 5-7), obstetric staff, consultant anaesthetists, obstetric theatre staff, maternity care support workers, student midwives and the patient safety lead.

We observed the morning multidisciplinary handover on the delivery suite and the morning handover on the postnatal and antenatal ward.

We reviewed four sets of maternity records and prescription charts. We also looked at a wide range of documents including standard operating procedures, meeting minutes, risk assessments, recently reported incidents and audit results.

You can find further information about how we carry out our inspections on our website: https://www.cqc.org.uk/what-we-do/how-we-do-our-job/what-we-do-inspection.

15 January to 12 February 2020

During a routine inspection

Our rating of services improved. We rated it them as good because:

  • Generally the service had enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe. Staff had training in key skills, understood how to protect patients from abuse, and managed safety well. The service controlled infection risk well. Staff assessed risks to patients and acted on them. The service managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them. Staff collected safety information and used it to improve the service.
  • Staff provided good care and treatment, gave patients enough to eat and drink, and gave them pain relief when they needed it. Managers monitored the effectiveness of the service and made sure staff were competent. Staff worked well together for the benefit of patients, advised them on how to lead healthier lives, supported them to make decisions about their care, and had access to good information. Key services were available seven days a week.
  • Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions. They provided emotional support to patients, families and carers.
  • The service planned care to meet the needs of local people, took account of patients’ individual needs, and made it easy for people to give feedback. People could access the service when they needed it and did not have to wait too long for treatment.
  • Leaders ran services well using reliable information systems and supported staff to develop their skills. Staff understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work. Staff felt respected, supported and valued. They were focused on the needs of patients receiving care. Staff were clear about their roles and accountabilities. The service engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services and all staff were committed to improving services continually.


  • Not all staff had completed training in the Mental Capacity Act/Deprivation of Liberty.
  • Not all staff had completed a yearly appraisal.
  • Medicines were not always managed well.
  • Safe staffing levels were not always achieved consistently across the hospital.
  • Surgical patients did not always have their food intake and fluid balance recorded. The pre-operative fasting process did not always follow best practice guidelines. They did not have their risk of developing a blood clot reassessed within 24 hours of admission.
  • Medical patients did not always have their personal, cultural, social and religious needs recorded.
  • Staff did not always work effectively to manage patient flow within the hospital.

10 April to 11 April 2019

During an inspection looking at part of the service

Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital (BNHH) is operated by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT). The hospital provides a full range of planned and emergency district general hospital services, including a 24-hour accident and emergency, general and specialist surgery, general medicine, intensive care, rehabilitation, chemotherapy, diagnostic services, maternity, neonatal, gynaecology, paediatric care and outpatient clinics.

BNHH provides some specialist services to people across the UK and internationally. They are one of two centres in the UK treating pseudomyxoma peritonei (a rare form of abdominal cancer) and provide tertiary liver and colorectal cancer services as well as the haemophilia service.

There are 450 NHS beds available in the hospital, with around 2,800 staff. Each year it has around 47,000 admissions, sees 43,000 patients in the Emergency Department, sees around 175,000 outpatients and delivers over 2,800 babies.

We previously carried out a comprehensive inspection of the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in June and July of 2018. Following that inspection, we issued the trust with a warning notice under Section 29A of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The warning notice set out areas of concern, where significant improvement was required on each of the main sites including Basingstoke North Hampshire Hospital.

We carried out an unannounced follow up inspection of the trust in April 2019 and we were on site at the BNHH on 10 and 11 April 2019.

During this focused inspection, we looked at all the issues raised in the warning notice which ranged across the safe and caring domains. We cannot re-rate the service because in a focused inspection we do not look at the core services as a whole. Therefore, the rating for the hospital remains at requires improvement.

We will continue to monitor the performance of this service and will inspect it again as part of our ongoing next phase NHS programme.

Throughout the inspection, we took account of what people told us and how the provider understood and complied with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

We found that staff at this hospital had addressed all the concerns raised at the inspection in June 2018 with one exception.

Requirements for improvement set out in the warning notice following the June and July 2018 inspection under Section 29A of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 were met.

4 February 2019

During an inspection looking at part of the service

This was a focussed unannounced inspection of the emergency department of Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital on 4 February 2019.

We did not inspect the whole core service therefore there are no ratings associated with this inspection.

During this inspection we noted the department to be under immense operational pressure in part caused by extreme weather conditions resulting in patients not being discharged over the preceding weekend due to unsafe road conditions. Consequently, the trust had declared an internal major incident over the preceding weekend. These poor conditions meant it was unsafe for patients to leave the hospital grounds. The result was a congested emergency department with multiple attendances, again in part due to the poor weather. We observed patients being cared for along the main corridor of the emergency department and some patients being in the department for extended periods due to a lack of beds across the hospital. We noted the bed position improved during the inspection resulting in patients being discharged across the hospital allowing patients in the emergency department to be admitted to inpatient beds. The trust reported  There were 236 patients seen on the day of the inspection, (including 10 that were still in the department from the Sunday) and 61 arrived by ambulance. An average day would be 170 patients seen with 60 arriving by ambulance. There were 54 admissions against an average of 40.

The average number of patients who walk into the department is 110 per day and the departments had 165 walk in patients on the day of the inspection. This was as a result of the extreme weather over the weekend.

Our key findings were:

  • Provision for mental health patients remained challenging. Patients continued to experience delays in being reviewed by external partners and the environment in which patients were being managed was not fit for purpose. However, the trust had introduced risk mitigation initiatives to reduce the likely-hood of patients being able to harm themselves or others. 

  • The department implemented patient safety initiatives including early warning systems and patient safety checklists however staff did not consistently use these.

  • Care and treatment was not always planned and carried out in a timely way.

  • The process of streaming patients who self-presented to the department was not fit for purpose. Sporadic absences of the streaming nurse because of the requirement to undertake other duties including undertaking physical observations on patients meant bottle-necks occurred quickly at the front door.

  • There were still occasions when the privacy and dignity of patients were now always promoted or protected.

  • Compliance against constitutional standards remained a challenge. However, new models of care and the introduction of well-rehearsed escalation protocols were starting to show signs of some incremental improvement.

  • There remained a focus on delivering performance and avoiding twelve-hour breaches as compared to providing holistic care to patients; this was compounded by continued challenges around bed capacity and the estate however there was a sense of collective ownership of the challenges.


  • The environment in which patients received care and treatment continued to remain a challenge. However, staff acknowledged the constraints of the department, had made some changes including the opening of a paediatric assessment unit, majors 2 “Fit to sit” area and an emergency decision unit.

  • The expansion and standardisation of the rapid assessment process resulted in improved handover performance for patients who were conveyed to the department by ambulance.

  • Efforts had been made to improve the experience of patients using the department. Staff sought to utilise clinical assessment rooms and cubicles to consult and treat patients as compared to using the corridor as had been previously noted.

  • Staff spoke to patients with compassion. Patients told us they felt listened too and staff considered the views and opinions of patients.

  • Whilst there was no formalised vision or strategy for the department, the historic “Done to” and “Learned helplessness” which was present at the previous inspection had dissipated. Health professionals worked collectively to address the challenges within the emergency care pathway.

  • Improved governance arrangements had led to increased oversight of risks and quality. Staff acknowledged that more needed to be done to ensure care was provided in a consistent way.

Action the hospital MUST take to improve

Ensure patients receive a timely assessment of their care needs and that a plan of care is established and delivered in line with national best practice.

Ensure patients receive care and treatment in an environment which is fit for purpose and meets national standards.

Ensure staff consistently utilise safety measures as determined by trust policy.

Ensure the emergency department operates an effective and safe process for receiving and assessing patients who self-present to the department.

Dr. Nigel Acheson

Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals

26 September 2018

During a routine inspection

Our rating of this service went down. We rated it as requires improvement because:

  • There was limited assurance about safety.
  • Risk assessments were not consistently completed therefore care plans were not developed including actions to manage the identified risks appropriately.
  • Medicines were not managed effectively and staff did not follow policies and procedures to ensure these were stored, administered and disposed of safely.
  • Emergency equipment was not consistently checked in line with the trust’s policy to ensure it was fit for purpose and available when needed.
  • People did not always receive care and treatment in a caring manner.
  • Patients’ privacy was not given sufficient priority.
  • The leadership, governance and culture did not always support the delivery of high-quality person-centred care.


  • Services were organised and delivered to meet the needs of the local population.
  • Staff understood how to protect patients from abuse. Safeguarding was given sufficient priority.
  • People’s needs and preferences were considered and acted on to ensure that services were delivered in a way that was convenient.

30 and 31 July, 13 and 14 August 2015

During a routine inspection

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was established in January 2012 as a result of the acquisition by Basingstoke & North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust of Winchester & Eastleigh Healthcare Trust.

The trust provides a full range of elective and emergency medical and surgical services to a local community of 600,000 patients in Basingstoke, Winchester, Andover and the surrounding areas in Hampshire and West Berkshire. It provides services from Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. Outpatient and assessment services are provided from Alton, Bordon and Romsey Community hospitals, and the Velmore Centre in Eastleigh.

Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital (BNHH) is one of the acute district hospitals, and is based just outside Basingstoke in North Hampshire. Services provided at BNHH include urgent and emergency care, medical care, surgery, critical care, maternity and gynaecological services, children and young person’s services, end of life care, and outpatient and diagnostic services.

The hospital also provides some specialist services including services for rare or complex illnesses for patients across the UK, including liver cancer, colorectal cancer and pseudomyxoma peritonei (a rare lower abdominal cancer). The purpose built diagnosis and treatment centre (DTC) opened in 2005. The regional haemophilia service is based at BNHH, and they have links with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust for some specialised services.

BNHH has about 529 beds, and had 57,008 emergency attendances from April 2014-March 2015, and over 297,507 outpatient attendances from May 2014-April 2015.

There are 5124 staff employed by the trust, working across the hospital sites. BNHH site employs approximately 827 WTE clinical staff. They do not outsource for any contracted staff, and non-clinical staff are employed in all of the support functions such as portering, facilities management and catering provision.

We undertook this inspection of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as part of our comprehensive inspection programme. The Trust is a Foundation Trust, and is deemed as low risk according to our Intelligent Monitoring system (Band 6).

The inspection of BNHH took place on 28 - 31 July, with additional unannounced inspection visits on 13 and 14 August 2015. The full inspection team included CQC senior managers, county managers, inspectors and analysts. Doctors, nurses, allied healthcare professionals, ’experts by experience’ and senior NHS managers also joined this team.

We rated BNHH as overall good. We rated it as ‘outstanding‘ for providing caring services, and good for effective, responsive, well-led care. We rated it as ‘requires improvement’ for safety.

Our key findings were as follows:

Are services safe?

  • Staff were encouraged to report incidents and there was learning from incidents to improve the safety of services locally and across the trust.
  • In diagnostic imaging, staff were confident in reporting ionised radiation medical exposure (IR(ME)R) incidents and followed procedures to report incidents to the radiation protection team and the Care Quality Commission.
  • Clinical areas, such as wards, theatres and clinics were visibly clean with appropriate cleaning schedules.
  • Staff followed infection control procedures and these were monitored, although this was not consistent and in surgery one ward needed to improve its practices.
  • Medicines were appropriately managed and stored. However, fridge temperatures were not being regularly checked and monitored on the surgical wards.
  • Anticipatory medicines (medicines prescribed for the key symptoms in the dying phase ie pain, agitation, excessive respiratory secretions, nausea, vomiting and breathlessness) were prescribed appropriately.
  • Equipment was checked and stored appropriately in most areas but this needed to improve on some medical and surgical wards, specifically for resuscitation equipment.
  • Overall, staff had a good understanding of safeguarding adults and children.
  • More staff needed to complete mandatory training.
  • Patients’ were assessed and monitored appropriately, for example, risk assessments were complete. However, the early warning score needed to be used consistently in surgery, and a tool was required for outpatients, for patients whose condition might deteriorate.
  • The hospital had a higher than expected number of avoidable harms (pressure ulcers and falls) against their own targets. The trust was taking action to improve this, for example, care bundles were introduced to appropriately assess and treat patients,
  • Critically ill children attending the emergency department were immediately referred to a paediatrician. There was a protocol for the transfer of critically ill children to a specialist care from the Southampton and Oxford retrieval team (SORT). The SORT team would provide specialist staff to support the child during the transfer.
  • Medical staffing levels across the hospital were appropriate. National recommendations were followed, for example, for consultant presence in the emergency department, maternity, critical care and end of life care. There was consultant presence in the hospital over seven days with the exception of surgical services; there was 24 hour consultant cover arrangements across all services. Consultants in children and young people services were working additional sessions because of vacancies with junior doctors at middle grade level. This additional working was not sustainable in the long term.
  • Nursing staffing levels were identified at trust level using an appropriate acuity tool. Planned staffing levels across all areas were higher than minimum recommendations. The hospital had a significant number of vacancies particularly in emergency medicine, medical and older people’s care and surgery. Staffing levels were monitored and action was taken to fill vacancies from bank staff. Agency staff were not used. However, some medical and surgical wards did not always meet safe staffing levels. Nursing staff were coping by working longer hours, sharing staff or staff skills across shifts. Patients on these wards told us their needs were being met. The trust was implementing actions to mitigate for example, by developing skills in health care assistants and having ongoing recruitment campaigns, including employing staff from overseas. However, we found in some areas, patient needs were not being met.
  • Midwifery staffing levels did not meet national recommendations but staff worked flexibly and could provide one to one care for all women in labour.
  • The new regulation, Duty of Candour, states that providers should be open and transparent with people who use services. It sets out specific requirements when things go wrong with care and treatment, including informing people about the incident, providing reasonable support, giving truthful information and an apology. The trust monitored duty of candour through their online incident reporting system. Senior staff we spoke with were aware of duty of candour and talked about the importance of being open and transparent with patients and their families.

Are services effective?

  • Staff were providing care and treatment to patients based on national and best practice guidelines. In some areas guidelines had been unified across the trust for consistency of care.
  • Services were monitoring the standards of care and treatment. Patient outcomes were similar to or better than the England average. There were action plans to address where outcomes were worse when compared to the England average, for example, for stroke rehabilitation.
  • Patients with chest pain were taken to Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital as the designated centre for specialist treatment if possible. The hospital’s performance was better than national average for patients with non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (a type of heart attack) who were seen by a cardiologist or a member of the team and treated on a cardiac ward or unit. The hospital performed below the national average for patients being referred for or had angiography.
  • Patients received good pain relief across all services.
  • Patients, particularly older patients, were supported to ensure their hydration and nutrition needs were met.
  • Staff were supported to access training. Many staff had a high level of competency having undertaken specialty specific qualifications. There was evidence of regular staff appraisal although clinical supervision varied.
  • Staff worked effectively in multidisciplinary teams to centre care around patients. This included working with GPs, community services, other hospitals. There were innovations in electronic records and the use of video conferencing in end of life care that enabled information to be shared about patient’s clinical needs and preferences across the trust, and with community and GP services. However, paediatric inpatient physiotherapy was not sufficient for children and young people with Cystic Fibrosis at the weekends and this was concern.
  • Seven-day services were well developed, particularly for emergency patients. There was support from therapists, pharmacy and diagnostic services was less well developed.
  • Staff had appropriate knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards to ensure that patients’ best interests were protected. Guidance was available for staff to follow on the action they should take if they considered that a person lacked mental capacity. Notification of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications were correctly submitted to the Commission. However, capacity assessments were not always documented or regularly reviewed in patient care records.
  • ‘Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation’ (DNACPR) forms were not always appropriately completed and did not include, for example, an assessment of the patient’s mental capacity.

Are services caring?

  • Staff were caring and compassionate and treated patients with dignity and respect. There was a culture in the hospital of understanding and responding to patient’s individual needs. This covered clinical and non-clinical staff such as porters and housekeeping staff who recognised the importance of their role in providing good quality care.
  • Patient feedback was overwhelming positive across all services.
  • We observed outstanding care for critical care patients, children and young people, patients having end of life care, and patients attending outpatient and diagnostic imaging services. The staff had an ethos of providing person centred care and developed trusting relationship with patients and their families.
  • Staff maintained patient’s confidentiality, privacy and dignity in all areas, although the layout of bay areas in the AAU and the eye day care unit may have compromised patient’s dignity at times.
  • Patients and their relatives felt involved in their care and treatment, staff provided information and explanations in a way patients could understand. Patients felt that their views and considerations were listened to and acted upon.
  • Records of conversations were detailed on patient records. This meant staff always knew what explanations had been provided and reduced the risk of confusing or conflicting information being given to relatives and patients
  • Patients and their families were supported by staff emotionally to reduce anxiety and concern. There was also support for carers, family and friends for example, from the chaplaincy, bereavement services for patients having end of live care, and counselling support where required.
  • Data from the national surveys demonstrated that the hospital was similar to other trusts. Patients were very satisfied and would recommend the care they received.                        


Are services responsive?

  • Services were being planned to respond to increases in demand, staff capacity and patient needs. There was some innovation in models of care, for example, the acute assessment unit. There was also joint work with partners, for example, to in-reach services for psychiatric assessment. Other areas were working on how to increase capacity.
  • Bed occupancy in the hospital was below the England average of 88% although it was higher on surgical wards. It is generally accepted that at 85% level, bed occupancy can start to affect the quality of care provided to patients, and the orderly running of the hospital.
  • The trust was not meeting the national emergency access target for 95% of patients to be admitted, transferred or discharged within 4 hours. Ambulance handovers over 30 minutes were often delayed and patients often had to wait in the emergency department for admissions.
  • Many medical patients were often on outlier wards (a ward that is not specialised in their care) information demonstrates that these patients were regularly assessed. There was only one patient outlier during the inspection.
  • Patient bed moves happened frequently, including at night. Staff were ensuring that patients with lower dependency needs were moved and patients had not expressed concern about their moves.
  • The trust was achieving the 31-day cancer waiting time diagnosis-to-treatment target and the 62-day referral-to-treatment target, although this had not been met in June 2015.
  • The trust was achieving the 18-week referral-to-treatment time target for medical patients and some surgical patients. The target was not being achieved in orthopaedics and ophthalmology.
  • The majority of patient who had cancelled surgical procedures for non-clinical reasons were re-booked for surgery within 28 days.
  • The trust was meeting national waiting times for diagnostic imaging within six week, outpatient appointments within 18 weeks and cancer waiting times for urgent referral appointments within 2 weeks and diagnosis at one month and treatment within two months.
  • The trust cancellation rate for appointments was 10%; the England average was 7%. Many of these clinic cancellations were at short notice. The reasons for this varied and included cancellation for staff sickness, training and annual leave. There was a plan to address this but this was in development. Patients were not appropriately monitored to ensure the timeliness of re-appointments
  • Women were able to make choices about where they would like to deliver their babies. They had access to early pregnancy assessment and their preferred ante-natal clinics. Women in the early stages of labour had access to telephone support.
  • Patient discharge was effectively supported. Patients were regularly reviewed and discharge coordinators worked to improve the discharge of patients with complex care needs. The trust had problems with increasing numbers of delayed transfers of care for community services, and was working with partners to improve this.
  • Support for patients living with dementia was well developed, for example, there was specialist support, appropriate assessment, a sunflower symbol was used and staff had good awareness and training. Support for people with a learning disability needed further development. Although there was support for carers, the hospital needed a flagging system or passport to identify and support patients, and some staff identified the need for further training.
  • The trust offers a number of one stop clinics. The breast unit, for example, offers appointments to patients within two weeks following GP referral. The referrals were initially received into the central booking office and prioritised by consultants. Patients who attended the one stop clinics, would see a clinician, have a biopsy taken and see a radiologist if required. If a cancer diagnosis was suspected, patients were told before leaving the clinic and an appointment given to discuss the outcome and treatment options. This unit provided a responsive service for patients who were anxious in relation to a potential cancer diagnosis.
  • Patients having end of life care were identified by a butterfly symbol so that staff were aware of their needs and those of their family.
  • There was a hospital at home service to deliver care to those patients identified as being in the last days or hours of life. The service was 24 hours and seven days a week. Multidisciplinary team working and innovations in electronic records and the use of video conferencing in end of life care also facilitated rapid assessment and access to equipment.
  • Patients having end of life care had multi-disciplinary care focused on their physical, mental, emotional and social needs. Patients could have a rapid discharge to home arranged within 24 hours. However, there were delays to the rapid and fast track discharge processes (within 48 hours) and processes were being improved to meet national standards.
  • All wards we visited provided care for patients in single sex accommodation bays, in line with Department of Health requirements.
  • Complaints were handled appropriately and there was evidence of improvements to services as a result. Some services, however, were not responding to complaints in a timely way.

Are services well-led?

  • All services identified the plans to build a new Critical Treatment Hospital as the overall strategy for the trust, and there were in-depth plans towards this across services. However, some services did not have specific strategies and plans in the short and medium term to respond to priorities. Some consultants identified concerns with the plans for the new hospital.
  • Services had effective clinical governance arrangements to monitor quality, risk and performance. The outpatients department needed to further improve processes to manage risk and quality.
  • Many staff told us overall they had good support from the local clinical leaders and staff engagement was good.
  • Many staff identified the visibility and support of the chief executive of trust.
  • Joint working across Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital and Andover War Memorial Hospital varied. This was important to improve standards, share good practice and develop efficient and effective services across the trust. This was well developed in the emergency department, critical care and end of life care.
  • The leadership for end of life care was outstanding. There were robust governance arrangements and an engaged staff culture all of which contributed to driving and improving the delivery of high quality person-centred care. This was an innovative service with a clear vision and supportive leadership and board structure.
  • Patient engagement was mainly through survey feedback however, there was some innovation, for example the use of social media in maternity and ‘through your eyes’ a listening event to surgery.
  • The trust had a WOW Award scheme to recognise outstanding service. Staff could be nominated by patients or their colleagues. Recognition through the WOW Awards had led to high levels of staff satisfaction throughout the service
  • Ideas to innovative and improve services were encouraged. There was participation in research, quality improvement projects, and innovation in developing new roles for staff, such as the Majors practitioners, volunteers caring in dementia, advanced critical care practitioners.

We saw many areas of outstanding practice including:

  • The trust is one of only two designated specialist treatment centres in the country for treatment of Pseudomyxoma. This is a very rare type of cancer that usually begins in the appendix, or in other parts of the bowel, the ovary or bladder. The hospital has treated more than 1000 such cases. The diverse multidisciplinary team has developed the skills to help patients through this extensive treatment, and share their knowledge on international courses and conferences.
  • Through audit, surgeons working at the trust have changed practice world-wide, such as new techniques for the biopsy on operable tumours and the benefits of waiting six weeks after completing chemotherapy before performing liver resection.
  • Every medical and care of elderly ward had an activity coordinator who planned and conducted different activities for patients after consulting them. The activities included a range of things such as arts and craft, music, dance, group lunches and movie time.
  • GP’s had access to electronic information held by the trust. This meant they were able to access electronic discharge summaries with up to date information available about care and treatment patients had received in hospital.
  • A LEGO brick Model, designed by a play leader, was used to prepare children for MRI scans. The model was successful in reducing children’s fears and apprehension. The model had been adopted for use in other hospitals.
  • Once a week the librarian attended the ward round in order to source relevant literature to assist the professional development of staff.
  • Critical care career pathways were developed to promote the development of the nursing team.
  • The critical care unit had innovative grab sheets that detailed the essential equipment to care for each patient in the event the unit had to be evacuated. These included pictures of the essential equipment, so non-clinical staff such as portering staff could help collect the equipment ensuring medical and nursing care of patients was not interrupted.
  • Pregnant women were able to call Labour Line which was the first of its kind introduced in the country. This service involves midwives being based at the local ambulance operations centre. Women who called 999 could discuss their birth plan, make arrangements for their birth and ongoing care. The labour line midwives had information about the availability of midwives at each location and were able to discuss options with women and their partners. Labour Line midwives were able to prioritise ambulances to women in labour if they were considered an emergency. The continuity of care and the rapid discharge of ambulances when they are really needed, have been two of the main benefits to women in labour The Labour line had recently won the Royal College of Midwives Excellence in Maternity Care award for 2015 and they were also awarded second place in the Midwifery Service of the Year Award.
  • The breast care unit is a fully integrated multi-disciplinary unit that was pioneering intraoperative radiotherapy for breast cancer at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.
  • The specialist palliative care team provided a comprehensive training programme for all staff involved in delivering end of life care.
  • The cardiac palliative care clinic identified and supported those patients with a non-cancer diagnosis who had been recognised as requiring end of life care.
  • The use of the butterfly initiative in end of life care promoted dignity and respect for the deceased and their relatives.
  • There was strong clinical leadership for the end of life service with an obvious commitment to improving and sustaining care delivery for those patients at the end of their lives.
  • All staff throughout the hospital were dedicated to providing compassionate end of life care.

However, there were also areas of poor practice where the trust needs to make improvements.

Importantly, the trust must ensure :

  • Patients in the ED are admitted, transferred or discharged within national target times of four hours.
  • There is an appropriate system to identifying patients with a learning disability.
  • Nurse staffing levels comply with safer staffing levels guidance.
  • Resuscitation equipment is appropriately checked, sealed and tagged.
  • Medicines are appropriately managed and stored in surgery.
  • Controlled drugs in liquid form are managed and stored appropriately in all the medical wards.
  • The early warning score is used consistently in surgery and a system is developed for use in outpatients.
  • Venous thromb-oembolism assessment occurs on admission for surgical patients.
  • Resuscitation equipment is appropriately checked and items are sealed and tagged.

In addition the trust should ensure:

  • Uncontrolled access to, and observation of, the resuscitation room from short stay is prevented.
  • X-ray warning lights for the resuscitation room work appropriately.
  • There is a named lead nurse for children in the ED as per Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health guidelines (2012).
  • Staff receive appropriate training and there is a formal process in place for staff to follow to meet requirements of the Duty of Candour.
  • The separate children’s area in the ED is visible in the main department, and access in the main waiting room is restricted.
  • Staff using the relative’s room in the ED have appropriate security, such as a viewing window in the door and/or panic alarm.
  • Staff maintain infection control procedures at all times.
  • Medicines are appropriately managed and stored in maternity and gynaecology.
  • Staff use and appropriately sign up to date approved Patient Group Directions (PGDs) in the eye unit in the ED.
  • Continued action to significantly reduce the incidence of pressure ulcer and falls.
  • Safety Thermometer audits to allow staff, patients and their relatives to assess how the ward has performed in Maternity and gynaecology.
  • An early warning score system is developed for use in outpatients.
  • Equipment in the Maternity unit is checked and documented as per trust policy.
  • The level of staff undertaking safeguarding adults and child training needs to meet trust targets.
  • The trust target of 80% for mandatory training is met.
  • Records on the gynaecology ward are stored securely to prevent unauthorised access.
  • The availability of medical notes for outpatient clinics continues to improve and this should be audited.
  • National guidelines are followed when administering intravascular contrast in the Candover Unit.
  • Staffing is improved in radiology to decrease high workloads.
  • Staff in maternity have appropriate training to complete the new assessment booklet.
  • There are arrangements in place to support lone working in the mortuary.
  • Clinical audit programmes continue to develop.
  • Nursing staff receive formal clinical supervision in line with professional standards.
  • Children’s discharge summaries are completed within 48 hours.
  • Review the Critical Care outreach service at night.
  • There is guidance around the frequency and timeliness of bed moves, so that patients are not moved late at night and several times.
  • Review single sex bay arrangements on AAU and facilities in the eye day care unit to ensure patients privacy and dignity is not compromised.
  • There is a critical care rehabilitation pathway.
  • Paediatric critical care guidelines are reviewed and updated.
  • There is a clear process and assurances for critical care staff who have been redeployed elsewhere in the hospital to return to the unit when a patient is admitted to the critical care unit.
  • Children with cystic fibrosis are supported by appropriate paediatric physiotherapy.
  • Information for patients is available in accessible formats.
  • All DNACPR order forms are consistently completed accurately and in line with trust policy.
  • Review the process for ‘fast-track’ discharge to meet the standards for 90% standard to be discharged with the right level of care within 48 hours if there preferred place of death is home.
  • There are appropriate processes and monitoring arrangements to reduce the number of cancelled outpatient appointments and ensure patients have timely and appropriate follow up.
  • Complaints are responded to within the trust target of 25 days.

Professor Sir Mike Richards

Chief Inspector of Hospitals

12, 15, 18 November 2013

During a routine inspection

This inspection was conducted over three days and the inspection team included three Care Quality Commission compliance inspectors, a compliance manager, a pharmacist Inspector and a Mental Health Act Commissioner. In addition, the team was supported by a specialist advisor for theatres and an expert by experience. The inspection included speaking to patients and staff in a range of wards, the emergency department and operating theatres, as well as a review of documentation.

We found that overall the hospital was compliant with four of the five essential standards we reviewed. We found patients were asked for their informed consent, where this was required, for care and treatment. Where patients were not able to give consent, or chose not to, the hospital followed the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Health Act 1983.

Most patients were satisfied with their care and treatment. We found patients were assessed and care and treatment was planned and reviewed regularly. Risks were identified and managed and there was shared learning from incidents and other reviews.

Arrangements were in place to coordinate care across different services. The hospital had reviewed assessment and discharge procedures to improve patient safety and experience.

The hospital had reviewed staffing skill needs for each ward and department and had recruited additional staff accordingly. Arrangements were in place to secure staff at short notice in response to changing circumstances.

We had concerns that medicines were not always available in a timely manner and were not always stored and managed safely

29 June 2012

During a routine inspection

When we visited we spoke with 64 patients, relatives and friends on 14 wards and departments, including the accident and emergency department. We also used the Short Observational Framework for Inspection (SOFI) in ward F2 as some patients had dementia and were not able to tell us their experiences. SOFI is a specific way of observing care to help us understand the experiences of people who could not talk with us.

Most of the patients and relatives told us that treatment and care had been explained to them. We found that most patients were involved in making decisions about their care needs and treatment, including those who had communication difficulties. Patients we spoke with said that their privacy was respected and confirmed that staff always drew curtains around their bed when attending to their personal care needs.

During the SOFI we also observed that patients who required help to eat were given appropriate assistance by staff. They were helped in a respectful way, and were not rushed.

Most patients told us they appreciated the way staff supported them and provided care. We were told, 'they give you their time although they are busy'. Most were positive about the quality of care and overall experiences. For example, one patient said, 'I can't fault the care given'. Another said 'staff take their time to wash and dress me.'

We received mixed feedback about bed moves patients experienced during their stay in hospital, both within and between wards. Some people liked or appreciated the need for this, but others did not understand the reason or felt the moves were not helping them.

Patients were generally complimentary about how their medicines were managed. One patient said, 'I am taking quite a few (medicines) and this is managed by staff. I understand all about this and I know what (changes) they are sorting out'.

21 March 2012

During a themed inspection looking at Termination of Pregnancy Services

We did not speak to people who used this service as part of this review. We looked at a sample of medical records. This was to check that current practice ensured that no treatment for the termination of pregnancy was commenced unless two certificated opinions from doctors had been obtained.

24 May 2011

During an inspection in response to concerns

Most patients we spoke to were generally positive about their experience of the care at the hospital.

The parents of patients on the children's ward were very positive about the care and the nursing staff.

Patients and their relatives told us that visitors had been made welcome on the wards and they had space to talk privately.

All of the patients we spoke to told us that they saw the domestic staff cleaning the ward areas every day.

16 May 2011

During a themed inspection looking at Dignity and Nutrition

The majority of patients we spoke to said that their experience had been positive; staff were polite, sensitive to their needs and treated them with respect. They were satisfied with their overall care.

Patients told us that the staff asked what name they liked to be called when they arrived on the ward and this was respected throughout their stay. Most patients told us the staff were very responsive to their needs and said that call bells were generally answered quickly. Two patients said there had been times when staff had been slow to respond to the call bell.

The majority of patients we spoke to said that staff explained to them what they were going to do prior to carrying out any personal care or treatment, for example, washing, assisting with toileting and taking blood.

All of the patients we spoke to said that they had been given enough information about their care and treatment. Some of the patients said that they had asked for their relatives to be given information about their care and treatment and the staff had spoken with their family members and answered their questions.

The majority of patients we spoke to said they had a good choice of food in sufficient quantities, regular hot drinks provided and cold water always available.

All of the patients we spoke to during the visit confirmed that the staff checked if they had enough to eat and drink and most patients knew that the staff completed a nutrition intake chart to monitor their intake of food and drink. Some patients stated that the food was sometimes not hot. Most patients said that if they did not like their meal or if they were hungry outside of mealtimes the staff would bring them a snack.