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Chief Inspector of Hospitals publishes his findings on the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

2 April 2014
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has published his first report on the quality of care provided by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – and has identified that overall the trust “requires improvement” due to failings at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blackpool.

The ratings for each hospital are as follows and the links to embargoed reports are found here: 

  • Blackpool Victoria, Blackpool - Overall rating: Requires improvement
  • Clifton Hospital, Lytham St Annes - Overall rating: Good
  • Fleetwood Hospital, Fleetwood - Overall rating: Good

The inspection team found that generally services at the trust’s three hospitals were effective, caring, and well led - and that many services were delivered to a good standard. However, Blackpool Victoria Hospital needed to be safer and more responsive to patients’ needs. In the maternity and family planning area inspectors rated the services as “inadequate” due to issues with the effectiveness of services

The trust was inspected under radical changes which have been introduced by the Care Quality Commission providing a much more detailed picture of care in hospitals than ever before.

An inspection team which included doctors, nurses, and hospital managers, trained members of the public, CQC inspectors and analysts spent two days at Blackpool Victoria, Blackpool, Clifton Hospital, Lytham St Annes, and Fleetwood Hospital, Fleetwood in January.

 The team examined the care provided in accident and emergency, medical care (including older people’s care), surgery, intensive/critical care, maternity and family planning, children’s care, end of life care and outpatients.  Inspectors also visited all three hospitals unannounced in one weekend.

The reports which CQC has published today are based on a combination of inspection findings, information from CQC’s Intelligent Monitoring system, and information provided by patients, the public and other organisations.

Across the trust, the inspection team found areas of good practice. These included: 

  • Care in the trust was recognised as good by patients spoken to, and the staff were praised by many who had used hospital services.
  • The trust has a highly committed workforce, with a strong team culture.
  • The trust-wide chaplaincy and end of life care service is recognised as highly responsive, and is valued, by those who have used it.
  • New facilities for the children and within maternity services were recognised as good developments

Inspectors said that the trust must improve in the following areas:  

  • The trust must improve its medical records; both in terms of record-keeping and timely access to notes.
  • The trust must ensure that appropriate and timely pre–operative assessment is always undertaken by a specialist.
  • The trust must improve how incidents are reported; ensuring all staff are aware of their responsibilities to report both incidents and near misses.
  • The trust must ensure that staffing levels in all clinical areas are appropriate for the level of care provided.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:  

“We know that Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been on a journey of improvement since the Keogh review, and the effort made in all three hospitals was there to see. Although, the trust still have a long way to go to reach their goal and we would wish to see even further improvements when we return. 

“My team were encouraged to find that the staff have a positive view of the improvements made so far, and that they were proud to work for the trust. Staff also expressed a high degree of support for the executive team, who have become increasingly visible within the hospitals.

“People are entitled to be treated in services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and responsive care. Together, we are cautiously optimistic that the staff and management team here can deliver the improvements which we require on behalf of their patients.”   


For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143.   

For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Notes to editors

The Chief Inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, announced in July 2013 that he would lead significantly larger inspection teams than before, headed up by clinical and other experts including trained members of the public.  

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.

Last updated:
30 May 2017