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Chief Inspector of Hospital welcomes improvements at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

5 March 2019
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has welcomed improvements in the quality of services for patients during an inspection of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. As a result of the inspection, the trust is now rated as Good overall.    

A team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the trust during November 2018 to check the quality of four core services Urgent and Emergency Services, Surgery, Critical Care services and Spinal services. CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well led?   

Previously in December 2015, the trust was rated Good for being caring and effective and Requires Improvement for being safe, responsive and well led. As a result of this inspection the trust is now rated as Good for being caring, effective, responsive and well led. The trust remains Requires Improvement for being safe. Overall, the trust is now rated as Good, a step up from its previous rating of Requires Improvement.

CQC has also published the trust’s Use of Resources report, which is based on an assessment undertaken by NHS Improvement. The trust has been rated as Good for using its resources productively. 

You can read the latest reports in full here:, once the report has been published on the CQC website. 

Dr Nigel Acheson, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals for the south, said:

“Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust has worked steadily to embed those improvements we requested at our last inspection and I want to congratulate them from moving from Requires Improvement to achieving their overall Good rating. 

“Our inspectors found a strong patient-centred culture.  We found staff doing what was right for their patients, for keeping them safe and involving them in decisions which affected their treatment and care. Patients and relatives spoke highly of staff and how they were informed of investigations and treatment plans, and how these would affect them.

“During the last 12 months the hospital’s critical care department found itself at the centre of unprecedented public scrutiny as it dealt with five patients admitted to the unit with a condition later diagnosed as nerve agent poisoning. The team’s response to these major incidents was outstanding in terms of their commitment to provide effective care, their collaborative working with other agencies and their focus on the safety and well-being of all staff and patients on the unit during this time.”

At previous inspections CQC had found that there were not enough staff within the surgical services.  At this inspection staffing levels had improved and initiatives were being put in place to reduce the burden on qualified nurses as they still had a number of vacancies. These included using extra administration staff in the evening to answer telephones. Bank and agency staff were still used to fill gaps in the rota. Staff were found to be caring and understood that some patients were anxious about their operations or their treatment whilst in hospital and they took time to help relieve their anxiety

Staffing levels also impacted spinal services and the responsiveness to meet patients’ individual needs.   

Urgent and emergency services were rated Good and were seen to take account of the individual needs of patients. Patients with a learning disability or needs that required assistance were identified as soon as they entered the department. Staff explained how they encouraged relatives or carers to be part of the treatment process and encouraged people to remain with vulnerable patients during their stay in the emergency department.

The inspection found that the trust planned its services to meet the needs of the local population. The board realised there was a need to review the size and scale of the emergency department to meet the future needs of the population and this work was in progress.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Manager John Scott on 07789 875 809 or, for media enquiries, call the press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here (Please note: the duty press officer is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters).

For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
05 March 2019

Notes to editors


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.