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Chief Inspector of Hospitals rates Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as Good

3 June 2016
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the services provided by Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as Good following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC inspected the core services provided by Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for three days during an announced inspection in January. Unannounced visits were also carried out on 27 January and 4 February 2016.

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was rated as Good overall. The trust was rated as Outstanding for whether its services were well-led and responsive, it was rated Good for being effective and caring and rated Requires Improvement for being safe.

The trust had a well-developed set of values that were recognised by the workforce. The trust was proactive in engaging with staff and most staff members were very positive about the leadership of the board.

The emergency department consistently met the four hour target to admit, refer or discharge and were generally performing significantly better than the England average.

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

“Overall, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides good care to the population it serves and we saw many areas of outstanding care. The trust can be proud of the services that it manages.

“We found staff to be dedicated, kind, caring and patient focused. Overwhelmingly staff were positive about working at the trust and they talked about being proud of their workplace and the care they delivered.

“We were particularly impressed by the urgent and emergency care department, children, young people and families services and outpatients and diagnostics, all of which were rated Outstanding overall.

“The executive team impressed us both individually and collectively. The senior team were well known amongst staff and seen as approachable and good leaders.

“We found there was effective multi-disciplinary working across the trust. Staff worked well together to provide coordinated care to patients. There was evidence of close working with other organisations such as social services and commissioners.

“Inspectors saw effective planning and service delivery designed to support people with complex needs.

“There were some areas where improvements were needed and the trust has told us they have listened to our inspectors’ findings and we are confident that the executive team, with the support of their staff, will work to deliver the necessary improvements. We will return in due course to check on the progress that they have made.”

Full reports for the trust will be published on CQC’s website today at the following link:

Inspectors found several areas of outstanding practice across the trust, including:

  • The emergency department had a robust process for managing the access and flow in the department which was a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care and had helped to achieve the four hour target consistently since 2012 which was recognised at a national level.
  • The dementia nurse specialist for the hospital was licensed to deliver the virtual dementia tour to hospital trust staff. The virtual tour gave staff an experience and insight to what it is like living with dementia and this was very popular and gave staff an understanding of people’s individual needs.
  • Inspectors saw strong, committed leadership from senior management within the surgical division. The senior staff were responsive, supportive, accessible and available to support staff on a day to day basis and during challenging situations.
  • The implementation of Super Saturday for elective surgery lists helped to reduce waiting lists. Two separate general surgeons were on call to meet patient needs.
  • The hospital had an Endometriosis Regional Centre, which was accredited for advanced endometriosis surgery within the region.
  • There were a range of examples of how, as an integrated service, children’s services were able to meet the complex needs of children and young people. The level of information given to parents was often in depth and at times complex. Staff managed to communicate with the parents in a way they could understand.

However, the inspection also found improvements were needed and the trust has been told that it must take action in some areas, including;

  • All staff must complete mandatory training in line with trust targets, including conflict resolution training.
  • The trust must ensure that information for people who use services can be obtained in a variety of languages and signage to reflect the diversity of the local community.
  • All services must take part in relevant national audits to allow them to be benchmarked amongst their peers and to drive improvements in a timely way.
  • There must be consistent processes to enable patients to self- administer their medicines.
  • The trust must continue to ensure lessons learnt and actions taken from never events, incidents and complaints are shared across all staff groups.

CQC’s inspection team informed the trust of its findings immediately after the inspection so that it could take steps to make any improvements.

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

CQC has published separate reports on the services provided by the trust and full reports including ratings for all core services are available at:

Under its inspection model, CQC has given individual ratings to each of the core services at the trust; urgent and emergency services, medical care, surgery, critical care, children & young people’s services, maternity and gynaecology, neonatal services, end of life care and outpatients and diagnostic imaging.


For media enquiries, call Regional Engagement Officer, Helen Gildersleeve on 07825 939 328. 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).

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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors


The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, is leading significantly larger inspection teams than before, headed up by clinical and other experts including trained members of the public. 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? 

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. 


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.