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Burnley and Blackburn hospitals awarded Good rating following re-inspection by CQC – Chief Inspector of Hospitals notes continuing improvement

20 May 2016
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated Burnley General Hospital and Royal Blackburn Hospital as Good following the latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission. 

Three years ago, July 2013, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust had been put into special measures following the Keogh Review into hospitals with higher than average mortality rates. A year later, May 2014, CQC inspectors found that the trust had made sufficient progress to come out of special measures.

Following the latest inspection in October 2015, a team of inspectors found urgent and emergency services, surgery and end of life care to be good at both hospitals. Full reports of the inspection are available from the CQC website at

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

“On the evidence of our last inspection, it is clear that East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust continues to make good progress.

“Since being placed into special measures in 2013 both hospitals have demonstrated continuing improvement.

“Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the surgical services that has improved in terms of the we’ll led domain from Requires Improvement to Outstanding

“The vision and values of the trust were clearly embedded across the surgical division. Staff were energetic and well- motivated. Managers had a strong focus on the needs of patients and the roles staff needed to play in delivering good care.

“Our inspection also identifies a number of other areas where the trust has adopted good practice, such as the intensive home care team who provide support to the emergency department and facilitate early discharges of patients from hospital. There were established links with local GPs so that patients could be discharged into the community. By working collaboratively beds can be more freely available and more patients placed in more suitable surroundings.

“While the trust is still rated overall, as requires improvement, they are aware that there is still more work to be done and I know they will want to build on the good progress they have made.

“We will be inspecting again later this year and I am hoping we will be able to report further progress”

At the Royal Blackburn Hospital over the past 12 months the emergency department/urgent care centre had introduced a number of quality innovations that have improved patient experience patient safety and patient outcomes. some of the initiatives that had been introduced included the introduction of a mental health triage tool and observation policy; rapid assessment review; introduction of a sepsis nurse lead; creation of a dementia friendly environment and review and development of the paediatric emergency department.

At Burnley General Hospital a ‘Harm free care’ strategy had been introduced that had improved the way the hospital dealt with and learned from incidents. The strategy included actions such as completing rapid reviews of serious incidents, referral to a panel for discussion and sharing outcomes in senior meetings.

There were some areas where the trust must improve including:

  • The trust must ensure safe and accurate medicines administration and documentation particularly in terms of the recording of controlled drugs which patients have brought into the acute medical unit

CQC will be presenting its findings to a local Quality Summit, including NHS commissioners, providers, regulators and other public bodies. The purpose of the Quality Summit is to develop a plan of action and recommendations based on the inspection team’s findings.


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors


The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, is leading inspection teams that include CQC inspectors, doctors, nurses, managers and experts by experience (people with personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses the type of services we were inspecting). Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led?


Since 1 April 2015, providers have been required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. For further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings, please visit:


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.