You are here

Chief Inspector of Hospitals publishes report on the quality of care provided by Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, rating the trust as ‘Good’

10 April 2015
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has published his first report on the quality of care provided by Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.

Under its new inspection model, CQC has given individual ratings to each of the core services at the trust’s hospitals; urgent and emergency services (A&E), medical care (including older people’s care), surgery, critical care, services for children and young people, end of life care and outpatients and diagnostic imaging.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, which took place between 6 and 8 January, found the trust was Good with regard to whether services were caring, well-led and responsive and Requires Improvement with regard to whether services were safe and effective.

Urgent and emergency services were rated as Outstanding overall, medical care, surgery, critical care, maternity and gynaecology, end of life care and outpatients and diagnostic imaging were rated as Good, and services for children and young people were rated as Requires Improvement.

Reports relating to the services inspected are published on CQC’s website today and are available via the following link:

CQC found many areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • The emergency department's escalation protocol was efficient through innovation. The department used a trigger tool via an electronic tablet, which was carried by the shift co-ordinator and key managers within the trust. This supported and allowed people to access the services in a way, and at a time, that suited them.
  • The hospital responded well to seasonal increases in activity. Consultants carried out early assessments of admissions and the trust had created flexibility through the provision of escalation wards and appropriate staffing changes. Escalation wards were also consultant-led, which resulted in continual support for patient care and discharge.
  • The surgical division had taken a robust approach to audit and was benchmarking patient outcomes internationally; one of only two trusts to use the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP), it was buddied with a high performing trust in the United States in order to improve quality and performance.
  • The trust had direct access to electronic information held by community services, including GPs. This meant hospital staff could access up-to-date information about patients, such as details of their current medicine.
  • The chaplaincy service carried a trauma bleep, in order to provide emotional support to the relatives of trauma victims.
  • There was a comprehensive outreach service in place, providing full 24/7 cover, including a 'patient activated' referral for the team.

CQC found some areas where the trust must make improvements, including:

  • Review the end of life care paperwork to ensure that it is more personalised, in line with National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.
  • Provide training to staff providing end of life care, on how to identify patients approaching the end of life, and how to use the new care plans.
  • Ensure that discussions with patients and families regarding end of life care, or advanced care planning decisions, are clearly recorded in the person’s medical records.
  • Ensure that prior to undertaking a procedure, or completing an end of life care order, the person’s mental capacity is appropriately assessed in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • Ensure that all clinical areas in outpatients, including the equipment in rooms, are cleaned regularly, and the cleaning is evidenced. Ensure that the decontamination room in the ear, nose and throat (ENT) outpatients department is compliant with guidelines on decontamination.
  • Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:

“On all of our inspections, inspectors ask whether a service is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs, and well-led.

“Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust was found to be providing a good service overall. Patient feedback during our inspection was positive and staff were praised for their caring and compassionate nature. All departments were clearly working very hard to achieve positive patient outcomes and we were particularly impressed by some of the innovative approaches being taken.

“While some areas for improvement have been highlighted to the leadership at the trust, particularly regarding safety and effectiveness, overall this is a good trust providing caring and responsive services that are well led. The trust knows what action it now needs to take to make any improvements.”

CQC has asked the trust to send us a report that says what action they are going to take to make improvements.

The trust provides services from one site at Ipswich Hospital, which is a medium acute hospital in Ipswich, Suffolk. The hospital serves a local population of around 385,000 people in and around Ipswich and East Suffolk.

The main commissioners of acute services are the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for Ipswich and East Suffolk.


For media enquiries, contact regional engagement officer, Helen Gildersleeve, on 0191 233 3379. Alternatively, the CQC press office is also available on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 0778 987 6508.

For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors


The Care Quality Commission has already presented 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.


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.