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Princess Royal Hospital Requires improvement

This service was previously managed by a different provider - see old profile

CQC carried out a period of listening activity at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in December 2013 and January 2014. The report from that exercise, which informed our inspection in May 2014, is available below.

We are carrying out checks at Princess Royal Hospital. We will publish a report when our check is complete.

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating

Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) is an acute teaching hospital with two sites the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton (centre for emergency and tertiary care) and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath (centre for elective surgery). The Brighton campus includes the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Sussex Eye Hospital.

The trust provides services to the local populations in and around the City of Brighton and Hove, Mid Sussex and the western part of East Sussex and more specialised and tertiary services for patients across Sussex and the south east of England.

The trust was inspected in April 2016 and rated as inadequate. Princess Royal Hospital was rated as requires improvement. Following publication of the report and our recommendation, the trust was placed into special measures by NHS Improvement.

The trust has now been subject to performance oversight for eight months and this inspection was made to assess progress against the actions required subsequent to the publication of the 2016 report.

In designing this inspection, we took account of those services that performed well at the 2016 inspection and as a consequence the services inspected only included emergency care, medical services, surgery, critical care, maternity and gynaecology and outpatients and diagnostics.

The trust board and executive leadership has been unstable for the last twelve months and immediately prior to the inspection management responsibility for the trust had been passed to the board of Western Sussex Hospitals Foundation Trust. As such, it was not appropriate to complete a full assessment of trust wide leadership. However, during the inspection we have followed up the concerning areas of organisational culture of bullying and harassment and discrimination that were evident in the 2016 report.

Our key findings were as follows:


  • Incident reporting, process and culture was much improved with enhanced analysis. Feedback to staff via safety huddles and other communications had also been improved. However, in some areas learning and sharing had not been maximised and in critical care a significant backlog of incidents had occurred that impeded the opportunity to learn from incidents.

  • Following an improvement initiative the trust had reduced the number of never events at the trust. The root cause analysis of serious incidents was also of a good standard.

  • There was not an overarching strategy for the maintenance of a clean environment and the fabric of some areas of the hospital remained in a poor condition. The concerns relating to fire safety expressed in our last report had been addressed by a process of external review and assessment. However, action plans to complete the work identified lacked documentation of completion and had no corporate oversight mechanism.

  • Although overall consultant cover has increased we remain concerned regarding the provision of paediatric nursing and paediatric anaesthetist cover to the emergency department. The trust is continuing to work with local commissioners regarding the perception and use of the paediatric emergency department by the local population.

  • IT provision in the emergency department is now aligned with RSCH addressing the risk identified in our last report.

  • Staffing levels and recruitment remain challenging for the trust. However, staff are now more likely to report staffing issues as incidents than previously.

  • As at our last inspection, medicines management, safeguarding and duty of candour were well managed and applied appropriately. Although the trust has improved its compliance with mandatory and safeguarding training many departments remain below a low threshold target of 75%.


  • Staff generally followed established and evidence based patient pathways. Staff had access to up to date protocols and policies we saw a significant improvement in maternity. Sepsis training, awareness and protocols had also improved. However, pathways for bariatric patients being managed in medicine were not optimum.

  • As also reported in 2016 national clinical audits were widely completed. Mortality and morbidity was reviewed in all departments.

  • Pain relief was effectively delivered and the trust had developed its trust wide pain team. However, the service remained unavailable at weekends.

  • Patients nutritional needs were generally met and the trust and increased efforts to provide protected mealtimes. Comfort rounds had been introduced in the emergency department to assist in the maintenance of hydration. There remained no dedicated dietician support to the critical wards.

  • Appraisal compliance had significantly improved across the trust. However, this was from a low base and many departments still remained below the trust target.


  • As reported at our last inspection, patients received compassionate care throughout the trust and we observed this in the interactions between staff and patients. Patients were very positive in their feedback regarding the care they received.

  • Patients reported they were involved in decisions about their treatment and care and this was reflected in the care records we reviewed.


  • Similar to our last inspection, referral to treatment time was consistently below the national standard for most specialties. The trust had improved compliance with two week wait and 31 day standard for cancer but was not attaining the 62 day target. Delays were also being incurred in the processing of biopsies for pathology.

  • The number of patients whose operation was cancelled and who were then not re-seen within 28 days exceeded the national average.

  • Provisions for the care of patients living with dementia was well developed with appropriate forms of patient identification and well considered design of clinical environment and signage.

  • Our review of complaints identified a tendency to respond in a defensive manner and a lack of negotiated extended timelines. However, external peer review of complaints over the last three years had not identified issues with the quality of responses.

Well led

  • At our last inspection, staff widely reported a culture of bullying and harassment and a lack of equal opportunity. We discussed the findings in individual interviews and staff focus groups and the findings were largely acknowledged as accurate. However, the trust had not clearly communicated its acknowledgment of the issue to the workforce.

  • The trust has commissioned and commenced an external consultancy to develop a strategy that addresses the current persistence of bullying and harassment, inequality of opportunity afforded all staff, but notably those who have protected characteristics, and the acceptance of poor behaviour whilst also providing the board clear oversight of delivery.

  • The trust has tried to address bullying and harassment via leadership training and an initiative "Working Together Effectively #stopbullying". This was promoted by a poster campaign using a well-crafted definition of bullying and a supporting intranet web site providing helpful guidance and tools. During our interviews and focus groups very few staff indicated recognition of the initiative.

  • Some staff indicated during focus groups and interviews that there had been an improvement in the management of poor behaviour, notably in maternity where a behaviour code of conduct had been introduced. However, representative groups described a lack of corporate acknowledgement of discrimination and inequality issues and little change over the last twelve months.

  • The lack of equitable access to promotion was again raised by members of the BME network citing recent changes in the management of soft FM services as an example of bias. This has resulted in a further review of the soft FM management of change process by the trust and a pause in implementation. Concerns on this issue have been raised by staff.

  • The role of out-dated human resource policies and their inconsistent application in exacerbating inequality was highlighted in our last report. The human resource team have responded with a comprehensive review of policy and revised training of team and managers. Representative groups viewed that there had been a lack of engagement in the development and review of these policies.

  • BME staff again indicated the lack of equitable access to training and leadership initiatives. The trust did not maintain data indicating the equality of access to leadership programmes.

  • Staff in focus groups indicated that staff themselves had not been suitably trained to manage the diversity of patients they treat leading to an inability to manage difficult situations and support staff who have been abused.

  • The latest staff survey results rank among the worst nationally. Overall the organisational culture and the management of equality remains a significant obstacle to the trust improvement plan.

  • We observed improvements in local directorate governance arrangements but the complexity of the operational model continues to lead to a lack of clarity in terms of accountability, alignment of strategy and consistent dissemination of information and direction.

  • Clinical leaders indicated a need for personal development, increased non-clinical time and greater management expertise in order to deliver the required organisational change. This group appeared as highly motivated with an appetite for the challenge ahead. The clinical transformation programme was seen as indicative of the potential this group has for delivery.

There is no doubt that improvements have been made since our last inspection and that the staff involved in the delivery of that change should be congratulated. However, there remains an extensive programme of change to be delivered in order to attain an overall rating of good. The lack of consistent board and executive leadership has hampered the pace of change in the last twelve months and it is anticipated that the incoming management team can provide both stability and clarity of leadership that will lead to sustainable change.

However, I recommend that Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust remains in special measures to provide time for the leadership to become embedded and that the outstanding patient safety, culture and equality issues are addressed.

We saw several areas of outstanding practice including:

  • The new self-rostering approach to medical cover had a significant impact on Urgent Care service. Medical staff appreciated the autonomy and flexibility this promoted as well as the effective and safe cover for the department. Due to this initiative, the department was able to provide round the clock medical cover without the use of temporary staff.

  • The introduction of the clinical fellow programme that had improved junior cover in the Emergency Department and also the education and development opportunities for juniors.

  • Arrangements for the care of patients living with dementia were well developed on Hurstpierpoint Ward. There was a "bus stop"  in the ward corridor and this was used as a focal point for patients to meet. Some patients wandered and this enabled them to rest and also provided a distinct reference if a patient could not remember where they were going. Each bay was also painted a distinct colour to support patients to find their way back to their beds. A computer was available for patients to use in order that they could skype family who could not visit every day. We also saw there was a quiet room available for patients and family to meet away from the ward area. This room contained life-sized stuffed animals that were used as therapy due to the health and safety issues around bringing in a pet as therapy dog. The ward also had a reminiscence room that was decorated and set up like a living room from the 1950’s. Staff advised us this area was used for therapy sessions as patients felt more at ease in the surroundings. Inside the room there was also a made-up switchboard for patients with electronic and operator experience.

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


  • In ED, the trust must ensure that medical gases are stored safely and securely.

  • In ED, the trust must ensure the current paediatric service provision is reviewed and has a safe level of competent staff to meet children and young people’s needs.

  • In outpatients and diagnostic imaging, the trust must take action to ensure that patient records are kept securely.

  • In surgery, the trust must ensure that safer sharps are used in all wards and department.

  • National Specification of Cleanliness (NCS) checklists and audits must be in place including a deep cleaning schedule for theatres.

  • In critical care, the hospital must take action to ensure that information is easily available for those patients and visitors that do not speak English as a first language.

  • In critical care, the trust must ensure there is adequate temperature monitoring of medicines fridges.

  • In critical care, the controlled drug register must comply with legislative requirements.

  • In critical care, the trust must ensure that pharmacy support meets national guidance.

  • In critical care, the trust must make arrangements to meet national guidance on dietetic provision.

  • The trust must ensure that all staff within the medical directorate have attended mandatory training and that there are sufficient numbers of staff with the right competencies, knowledge and qualifications to meet the needs of patients.

  • The trust must ensure all staff within the medicine directorate have an annual appraisal.

  • The trust must ensure fire plans and risk assessments ensure patients, staff and visitors can evacuate safely.

  • The trust must ensure all medical wards where medicines are stored have their ambient temperature monitored in order to ensure efficacy.

In addition:

  • In ED, the trust should consider how patients with impaired capacity have these risks identify and managed appropriately.

  • In ED, the trust should consider how mandatory training rates could be improved to meet the trust own compliance rates.

  • In ED, the trust should consider how it manages continuity with incident, compliant and risk management processes across both sites.

  • In ED, the trust should provide sufficient housekeeping cover in the department twenty-four hours a day.

  • In ED, the trust should improve staff engagement at the PRH site.

  • In outpatients and diagnostic imaging, the trust should improve compliance with mandatory training completion.

  • In outpatients and diagnostic imaging, the trust should consider how appraisal targets are met.

  • In outpatients and diagnostic imaging, the trust should discuss incidents regularly with staff and share.

  • In outpatients and diagnostic imaging, the trust should develop a strategy for the outpatients and diagnostic imaging department.

  • In surgery, the trust should take steps to consider how the 18 week Referral to Treatment Time is achieved so patients are treated in a timely manner and their outcomes are improved.

  • In surgery, the trust should continue to work on reducing the

    waiting list for a specific colon surgery.

  • In surgery, the trust should make arrangements so all staff have attended safeguarding and all other mandatory training.

  • In surgery, the trust should ensure the plan to improve staff engagement is fully implemented.

  • In critical care, the trust should take steps consider altering the record keeping system so it is the same as that at the RSCH.

  • In critical care, the trust should not store items in corridors or use wooden pallets.

  • In critical care, the trust should look to change the main door to the unit to one that is motorised.

  • The trust should take steps to fully meet the national guidelines around the rehabilitation of adults with a critical illness.

  • The critical care department should improve their performance in relation to the local critical care network measure of quality and innovation.

  • The critical care department should take steps to ensure that medical staff are given Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards training.

  • The critical care department should widely publish information collected from the friends and family test.

  • The trust should take steps to address the delays that patients have when being discharged from critical care.

  • The senior leadership team should develop an interim strategy and vision for the critical care department.

  • The critical care management team should work with the HR team to address the issue of staff working between the trust’s two sites.

  • The medicine directorate should review the provision of the pain service in order to provide a seven day service including the provision of the management of chronic pain services.

  • The medicine directorate should review the provision of pharmacy services across the seven day week and improve pharmacy support.

  • The medicine directorate should prioritise patient flow through the hospital as this impacted on length of stay, timely discharge and capacity.

  • In maternity, the trust should consider involving the directorate in Morbidity and Mortality meetings to ensure robust learning and review.

  • Targets for mandatory training in maternity and gynaecology should be reviewed so trust targets can be met, in particular in regards to safeguarding.

Professor Sir Mike Richards

Chief Inspector of Hospitals

Inspection areas


Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017


Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017



Updated 10 August 2017


Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017


Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017

Checks on specific services

Critical care

Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017

When we inspected the Princess Royal Hospital in April 2016 we rated critical care as requires improvement. At this inspection, we have retained this rating. This was because:

  • Medicines were not always managed safely. There were gaps in the recording of fridge temperatures used to store drugs and the checking of medication expiry dates had not been recorded in January and February 2017.

  • The unit still did not fully meet the requirement of National Institute of Health and Care Excellence guidance relating to rehabilitation after critical illness in adults. The hospital failed to meet their own standards and key performance indicator in relation to the discharge of patients with a rehabilitation prescription. Performance against the South East Coast Critical Care Network Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) measures was mixed with the majority of targets missed.

  • There was no data submitted to NHS England regarding the friends and family test results.

  • Provision of information in languages other than English was extremely limited.

  • There were ongoing problems relating to the application of human resources policies and access to robust HR support. The senior management team had not been able to fully deal with the issue of staff being reluctant to travel to the other units in the trust to work.

  • There was no formal vision and strategy in place at the time of the inspection with the senior leadership team waiting for the trust wide vision and strategy to be announced.

  • IT systems did not support safe and effective care across the trust. The unit at Princess Royal had an IT system that was not compatible with those of other critical areas in the trust.

However, we also found:

  • Incident reporting and investigation had improved. Incidents were investigated, discussed and any learning was disseminated through the critical care team. Clinical governance meetings were well attended and minutes were thorough. Actions were assigned to a named, accountable individual.

  • Performance as described in the measures defined by the Intensive Care National Audit Research Centre (ICNARC) was either better or similar to the national average. There were improvements in cleanliness and infection control, particularly around hand hygiene.

  • There was a good culture amongst all staff where teamwork was seen as the key to an effective service. Multi-disciplinary working was well established and we saw examples of members of the therapy teams being available and having input into patient care.

  • Nursing staffing was consistently good with the majority of shifts filled with appropriately trained staff.

  • Staff treated patients and visitors to the unit with compassion and a real understanding for their personal circumstances.

  • The bed occupancy rate had been below or in line the England average for nine of the 12 months prior to the inspection period. No critical care patients had been admitted to recovery or other area due to lack of critical care bed in the period April 2016 and May 2017. However, the unit had difficulty in discharging patients in a timely manner.

  • There were examples of innovative practice. Each patient on the ICU had a ‘patient diary’. This was a diary written to record what had happened to the patient and how they had been cared for.

Outpatients and diagnostic imaging

Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017

When we inspected this service in 2016 we rated it as requires improvement overall. At this inspection we have retained this rating. This is because:

  • World Health Organisation (WHO) checklist audit compliance was worse than the target set in interventional radiology and consent was not always obtained in this department in line with best practice.

  • Room cleaning checklists had variable rates of completion across the outpatient department. Carpeted areas appeared dirty and soiled. Many rooms were cluttered and some waiting areas were cramped. However, rooms in the diagnostic imaging department were consistently cleaned and this was documented.

  • Staff understood their responsibilities to report incidents and near misses; however, incidents were not regularly discussed at team meetings.

  • Patient records were not always kept securely.

  • Mandatory training and staff appraisal compliance rates were low.

  • The trust was not meeting national targets for patients that should be seen within 18 weeks of their referral, or for patients that should receive their cancer treatment within 62 days of urgent referral.

  • There was no formal strategy in place for the outpatient department and staff were unsure of the management structure for their department.

However, we also found:

  • People’s care and treatment was planned and delivered in line with current evidence-based guidance, standards, best practice and legislation. We observed good radiation compliance in accordance with national policy and guidelines. The diagnostic imaging department had retained Imaging Services Accreditation Scheme (ISAS) accreditation.

  • Medicines were managed safely and prescription forms were stored safely and securely.

  • Staff could access the information they need to assess, plan and deliver care to people in a timely way.

  • Patients’ privacy and dignity was maintained in all areas. Friends and Family test (FFT) results were better than the England average for four out of six months we reviewed. Patient comment cards were consistently positive about the care received.

  • The trust had introduced two-way texting for patient appointments and had seen a significant improvement in number of calls abandoned by patients calling into the booking hub.

  • All complaints were investigated and closed within the trust-wide target for investigating complaints.

  • We saw that the culture in the service was good. Staff felt supported by both their immediate line managers and their directorate lead nurse. There was staff engagement at department level with team meetings and forums for staff to attend.

Urgent and emergency services

Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017

At our previous inspection in April 2016, overall, we rated the ED as inadequate. At this inspection we have changed the rating to requires improvement. This was because:

  • The department struggled to meet the surges in demand and manage access and flow at busy times.

  • Clinical Incidents were reported and investigated and learning points identified to prevent recurrence. However, theme analysis and learning from incidents only happened at a local level. Good practice and learning from incidents was not shared across site. A backlog of incidents had accumulated and this had an impact on the department’s ability to prevent recurrence, and learn from past incidents.

  • Mandatory training and appraisal rates were low although improved since our last inspection. This meant that staff were not always able to access the training and personal development opportunities needed to undertake their roles. However, staff were better supported by the department in their development. New competency-based assessment tools had been developed to promote personal development and assurance that staff had the right level of training to meet people’s individual care needs.

  • Nurse retention and sluggish HR processes continued to be a concern within the department.

  • The culture in terms of cross-site learning, morale, and staff engagement was identified as an area for continued improvement. We recognised some improvement to the culture since our last inspection but staff felt that further improvement was needed to improve morale at this site. The feedback about the culture in the department was negative in tone, as some staff did not feel that much had changed since our last inspection.

  • Medical staffing did not reflect the National College of Emergency Medicine guidelines for twenty-four hour cover. However, the consultant cover provided was good and ensured patients had access to a senior clinical decision maker twenty four hours a day. There was robust middle-grade doctor cover in the department as a result of the new clinical fellows programme.

  • Concern relating to the treatment of children and the provision of appropriate medical and nursing cover remained unchanged. There were dedicated facilities for children but there was a lack of trained children's nurses. There was only one dual trained adult and paediatric nurse and one adult nurse with a specialist interest in paediatrics.This did not comply with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Standards for Children and Young People in Emergency Care Settings (2012). There was also a lack of appropriate medical cover to support children

However, we also found:

  • The feedback we received from patients and their relatives was consistently positive. Staff were observed being caring, compassionate and professional with patients. Even when the ED was very busy, staff still took time to listen to patients and to explain things to them. Friends and family data for the department was generally better than the England average.

  • Patients had their individual needs met by the service. Staff demonstrated a sound knowledge of how to provide care for patients with complex needs, including those with dementia, learning difficulties and mental health conditions.

  • Patients were protected from the risk of acquiring health related infections and staff were observed adhering to best practice guidance. Medicines were handled and stored appropriately in line with trust policy and national guidance.

  • Records were securely stored, were accurate, contemporaneous and comprehensive and kept confidential and stored securely.

  • The care provided reflected best practice and national guidelines. The department had introduced the use of prompt cards as a support tool for staff. Patient outcomes were predominately in line with the England averages.

  • Clinical Incidents were reported and investigated and learning points identified to prevent recurrence. There were sufficient plans to ensure an appropriate response to a major incident, and business continuity plans which had been tested and deemed effective.

  • We saw new processes to assess, monitor, and improve the quality and safety of the service. Governance, risk management and quality measurements systems were found to be much improved at this inspection.

  • The senior leadership team were found to be effective and visible. There was an appropriate vision and strategy but staff did not feel consulted about, or involved in its design.

  • There had been investment in IT systems which had improved by replacement with a more functional, usable and safe system.

  • We found appropriate systems and processes to handle and learn from complaints. We found good clinical oversight of departmental complaints.

Maternity and gynaecology


Updated 10 August 2017

In April 2016, we rated maternity and gynaecology services as requires improvement overall. At this inspection we have changed the rating to good. This is because:

  • All clinical guidelines had been reviewed and were now in-date with good processes to ensure they remained current.

  • There was some improvement across maternity and gynaecology services in mandatory training compliance, and overall services were meeting the trust mandatory training target of 75%. The trust employed a dedicated preceptorship midwife and a midwifery placement educator who met with midwives throughout their employment and helped with the training development of student and newly qualified midwives.

  • Previously reported poor behaviour from staff including consultants this was widely reported as improved. With a new consultant body there was a much improved multidisciplinary approach to care.

  • Processes for gaining valid consent had been made more robust. We saw consent was given the appropriate importance and that staff followed trust policy.

  • Staff were committed to providing and promoting normal birth. Women were offered a choice of birthing options and the trust had high homebirth rates. Targets for elective caesarean sections showed improvement, but the trust target was still not being achieved.

  • Women were supported in making informed choices about birth settings which were appropriate to their clinical needs. There was adequate support in place for dealing with patients with complex needs such and learning disabilities. However, there has been no further development of a midwife led birthing unit (MLU) since our last inspection.

  • Feedback from women and their families was positive about staff kindness and compassion. Staff treated patients with dignity and respect and patients were involved in their care and treatment.

  • Previously, patients were often being transferred and units were being closed due to lack of staff. This had improved as there were no closures reported at PRH from April 2016 to January 2017.

  • There were improvements to the governance structure. Staff were positive about local leadership, However, we still found that services lacked clear leadership from the executive to the ward.

However, we also found:

  • Although incident reporting had improved and we found feedback was routinely given via a number of methods we did see some incidents not categorised in line with trust policy and some incidents that did not have actions to mitigate risks recorded. The directorate did not take part in morbidity and mortality meetings.

  • There was an improvement in staff numbers and 1-1 care in labour had improved, but the unit was still not achieving then national and hospital target of 100%. Staff felt they were under pressure despite this increase in staff numbers.

  • Daily equipment checks on the Central Delivery Suite (CDS) were not recorded regularly.

  • Babies on the CDS were not tagged and this posed a security risk.

  • Complaints were not dealt with in a timely way and within the trust’s published policy timescales.

Medical care (including older people’s care)

Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017

We rated Medical care services as requires improvement in 2016. At this inspection, we have retained this rating because:

  • There continued to be a lack of learning from incidents, although incident reporting was variable across the medical directorates. Silo working had improved within directorates; however, we found no evidence that there was cross directorate learning from incidents or complaints. Risks, issues and poor performance were not always dealt with appropriately or in a timely way. For example, each directorate had its own risk register, which did not feed into an overarching risk register. Therefore, senior managers had no effective method for understanding issues affected by all directorates.

  • Compliance with mandatory training did not meet the trust’s targets. The only area of medicine where mandatory training rates met the trust target was in safeguarding adults.

  • Outcomes from national audits were mixed and were below expectations when compared with similar services. The service scored a higher than expected risk of readmission for two of the top three specialties for all elective admissions.

  • There had been no improvements in arrangements for the specialist management of acute pain out of hours, or for chronic pain. The hospital did not have any formal arrangements for access to the acute pain team out of hours and there was no pain team for chronic pain management.

  • There were insufficient numbers of cleaning staff at some times. Nurses were required to support housekeepers in maintaining the cleanliness of the wards due to lack of staff.

  • Staff from all levels advised us there were still issues with human resources processes. Although there were policies and standard practices, not all staff followed them and managers reported a lack of consistent HR guidance.

  • Referral to treatment times were worse than the England average. There were long waiting times, delays and cancellations and the actions to address these were not timely or effective. The number patient of bed moves was worse than the England average.

  • Complaint response times were worse than the trust target set out in their policy.

However, we also found:

  • Patients were mainly supported and treated with dignity and respect at all times. Staff responded compassionately when patients needed help and supported them to meet their personal needs as and when required.

  • There was shared decision-making about care and treatment. Assessments carried out to comply with the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and consent forms are completed appropriately.

  • There was a range of appropriate facilities to properly support patients living with dementia on Pierpoint Ward.

  • The service had made adjustments to the rehabilitation pathway to ensure it was fully compliant with national guidance.

  • Medicines were always supplied, stored and disposed of securely with medicine cabinets and trolleys were kept locked and only used for storing medicines and IV fluids. However, there was no monitoring of ambient temperatures in any medicines storage areas except for refrigerated items.

  • The endoscopy service had been awarded Joint Advisory Group on GI Endsocopy (JAG) accreditation.


Requires improvement

Updated 10 August 2017

When we inspected the Princess Royal Hospital in April 2016 we rated surgery as requiring improvement. At this inspection we have retained the rating of requires improvement because:

  • Improvements had been made to reduce the admitted referral to treatment time (RTT), but it still remained below the national standard for all specialities apart from cardiac surgery. Work had been done on identifying patients on the waiting list for a specific colon (bowel) surgery but there was still a backlog of patients waiting for surgery. The percentage of patients whose operations were cancelled and not treated within 28 days remained worse than the England average.

  • Guidance relating to the infection prevention and control was not being followed. National Specification of Cleanliness (NSC) check lists and audits were not in place including a deep cleaning schedule for theatre. The theatre corridor was found to be dusty and cardboard boxes in theatres were stored on the floor risking the integrity of the sterile contents.

  • The theatre department was not complying with The Health and Safety (Sharp instruments in Healthcare) regulations 2013.

  • Staff mandatory training and appraisal compliance rates were worse than the trust target.

However, we also found:

  • Feedback from patients and their families was positive about the way staff treated them. We observed that staff treated patients with compassion, kindness, dignity, and respect.

  • Care and treatment was explained in ways patients and relatives could understand and patients were encouraged to make their own decisions. Progress had been made on reviewing and ensuring improved consent processes.

  • There had been no Never Events at PRH since our inspection in April 2016. A number of programmes and training events had been used to re-enforce the checking of prosthesis prior to implantation and using national programmes to make surgery safer.

  • Care and treatment by all staff including therapists, doctors and nurses was delivered in accordance with best practice and recognised national guidelines.

  • All patients admitted with a fractured neck of femur were treated at the PRH and governance systems had been developed to monitor the quality of the service. There was evidence of cross working across the surgical directorates to deliver joined up care and ensure the timely management of patients through their care pathway.

  • At local level senior management teams were seen as visible, supportive and approachable. Staff spoke of a collaborative, supportive culture.

  • Each of the four directorates had strategies and business plans in place which could demonstrate progress over the last year. Risk registers were established for all four directorates, staff were aware of risks in their own department and there was assurance that risks were kept under review.

Services for children & young people


Updated 8 August 2014

We found the special care baby unit (SCBU) to be safe. There were adequate procedures to follow in the event of any incidents or accidents. The unit was clean and staff followed the trust’s policies on the prevention and control of infection.

Medicines were managed appropriately and baby’s records were comprehensive and included appropriate risk assessments.

Nursing and medical, including advanced neonatal nurse practitioners (ANNPs) staffing levels were adequate and there were enough appropriately skilled and experienced staff on duty at all times.

The services for babies on the SCBU were effective. The unit used evidence-based care and treatment and had a clinical audit programme in place.

There was evidence of effective multidisciplinary working and the service operated safely over the seven-day week.

There were procedures in place to ensure competent staff. However, half of the ANNPs had not received an appraisal within the past 12 months. The matron told us that there were plans in place to address this.

Staff were compassionate and provided effective emotional support to parents. Parents were positive about their experience. One person said, “I am 100% satisfied with the care we have received.”

Parents were involved in decisions about their baby’s care and treatment.

We found services responsive. Service planning and delivery to meet the needs of local people and flow arrangements were in place.

People’s individual needs were met and there were effective systems in place to receive and act on feedback from parents.

The service was well-led. All of the staff we spoke with told us that there was a positive culture within the unit and effective leadership.

There were regular safety and governance meetings, as well as effective processes for measuring and ensuring quality standards.

Innovation and sustainability was evident within the unit.

End of life care


Updated 10 August 2017

We did not inspect end of life care as we rated this service good in 2016.