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Chief Inspector of Hospitals publishes his findings on Spire Liverpool Hospital, Merseyside

24 June 2015
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has published his findings on the standards of treatment and care provided by the Spire Liverpool Hospital, Merseyside, following a Care Quality Commission inspection in March 2015.

The hospital, in Liverpool, Merseyside, is among some of the first independent hospitals to be inspected under CQC’s new methodology which asks whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs, and well led.

Findings from the inspection have been published on the CQC website today:

Patient feedback was consistently positive and results from recent surveys indicated that most patients would recommend the hospital to friends and family. Patient’s positive feedback had been consistently improving since 2012.

CQC found that staff were caring and treated patients and their relatives with dignity and respect. Patients who spoke to inspectors were positive about their care and treatment.

There was effective teamwork and visible leadership within the hospital’s surgical services. Staff were positive about the culture and the support they received from their managers.

Incidents and complaints were discussed during monthly staff meetings so that shared learning could take place. Staff told inspectors that they received feedback directly, to aid their learning, together with management support.

Staff were fully aware of their responsibility to gain patient’s consent to treatment. A recent survey showed that all patients had been asked by staff for their consent to the care they would receive before any procedures were carried out.

Further development was needed to support those who fasted before surgery. The hospital was falling short of its performance target meaning patients starved for longer than was clinically necessary. However, an action plan had been created to address this.

Patients received care in visibly clean and suitably maintained premises and were supported with the right equipment. Most medicines were stored safely and given to patients in a timely manner, however not all controlled drugs were stored securely.

CQC identified a number of areas of good practice, including:

  • The hospital had shown a person centred approach to patient care and involved family or relatives. Inspectors saw people being treated as individuals and staff spoke to patients in a kind and sensitive manner.
  • The hospital had adapted to meet the needs of a patient, with challenging behaviour, to protect their dignity and privacy when being admitted. The staff described how it was dealt with in a person centred way to ensure the wishes of the patient were met.
  • Patients told CQC the staff were understanding, calm, reassuring and supportive and this helped them to relax prior to undergoing surgery.
  • Inspectors observed staff going out of their way to assist patients or relatives with whatever they needed when providing care. Dressing gowns and slippers were given to those transferring between wards.

CQC also identified some areas where the hospital should make improvements:

  • Review the terms of reference and frequency for hospital wide meetings to ensure they are effective in achieving their objectives.
  • Review the hospital’s risk management processes to ensure that all risks are captured, monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.
  • Ensure controlled drugs in the theatre recovery area are appropriately stored at all times and that action is taken to properly record the disposal of part vials of controlled drugs and improve compliance in medicine audits.
  • Improve performance relating to patient fasting times whilst awaiting surgery to ensure current clinical guidelines are met.
  • Implement a formalised system that shows which consultant or anaesthetist is responsible for a particular patient. This should include a nominated deputy for occasions when the responsible person is unavailable.

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

“People deserve to receive treatment and care which is safe, effective, caring, responsive to their needs, and well led.

“When we inspected the Spire Liverpool Hospital, we saw that staff were caring and compassionate in their dealings with patients, and patients praised the treatment and care that they received.

“We did however note some areas where improvements are required and we have told the hospital that they should take action to address these issues, although, the hospital had already identified the majority of our findings and had put action plans into place to deal these issues.

"I am satisfied that there is a positive and open culture within Spire Liverpool Hospital and that the staff and management share ways to improve their patients’ outcome.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications Officer Mark Humphreys on 0191 233 3519.

For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please 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:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors


Spire Liverpool Hospital is run by Classic Hospitals Limited which is part of Spire Healthcare Group Plc. Spire Liverpool Hospital, previously known as Lourdes Hospital, is located

in a residential area of south Liverpool which provides care and treatment for private (self-funding and insured) and NHS patients referred under the Standard NHS Acute Contract. 

Independent hospitals inspected during ‘wave two’ (January – March 2015) have received a shadow rating. Shadow ratings apply to inspections which are undertaken during the development of our approach and before our final methodology is confirmed and published.


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.