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Chief Inspector of Hospitals rates Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust as Requires Improvement
England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has given an overall rating for Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust as Requires Improvement following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
Inspectors found that the trust provided services that were caring. But the trust required improvement for providing safe, well led, effective and responsive care. Maternity services and the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre were found to be Inadequate.
During the inspection in November the team of inspectors and specialists including doctors, nurses, managers and experts by experience, visited Southport and Formby District General Hospital, Ormskirk District General Hospital and community services which serve Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. The inspection included the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre.
Full reports including ratings for all of the provider’s core services are available at: www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RVY.
The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:
“It is clear that Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust has a number of issues it has to address.
“Across the trust we saw many examples that showed that staff were caring, compassionate and treated patients with dignity, even when they were working under significant pressure.
"We found some members of staff remain with a feeling of not being valued The staff we met spoke of a hierarchy of importance within the trust, with greater attention and priority given to the Southport and Formby site, followed by Ormskirk and the Community Services.
“It is a matter of concern that we found maternity services at Ormskirk and the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport to be Inadequate. Staffing levels on the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre were significantly lower than national guidelines. The lack of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the patients must be resolved.
"The inspectors found that skill levels in maternity were below those needed to provide a consistently safe service. Some staff were being used for duties above their level of competency. Too few doctors had been trained to manage emergency situations in the maternity service.
"The inspectors found that staffing and skill mix levels in A&E services were below those needed to provide a consistently safe service.
“The trust must make sure that robust systems are in place to ensure that incidents are reported and that feedback is provided back to staff that have reported the incidents. The trust must also ensure that there is cross organisational learning from incidents, complaints and issues. I expect the trust to prioritise these areas for improvement.”
Across the trust there was a lack of capital planning for equipment replacement, which was having an impact on the service. Inspectors were told that the age of hospital equipment was an issue in operating theatres. Although there was a maintenance plan and capital equipment was purchased on an annual basis, there was no forward replacement plan.
CQC has told the trust that it must make improvements including:
- At Southport and Formby District General Hospital, the trust must ensure adequate nurse staffing levels and an appropriate skill mix in all areas but notably the emergency department
- The trust must ensure equipment used in the theatres is fit for purpose and older equipment is replaced under a planned replacement schedule
- Medicines management must meet national standards in the critical care unit and in the emergency department
- At Ormskirk District General Hospital, the trust must ensure adequate medical and nursing staffing levels and an appropriate skill mix in all areas notably maternity
- The trust must ensure medical and senior nurse cover out of hours is safe and fit for purpose
- In Community Adult Services, the trust must complete the staffing review for district nursing and establish a clear plan for the management of increasing workloads
- The trust must ensure that there are suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the patients using the North West Region Spinal Injuries Centre
The reports also highlight several areas of good practice including:
- Inspectors saw an outstanding example of staff taking full account of both spiritual and physical care appropriate to the religious and cultural beliefs of people nearing the end of life and their families.
- The development of the Community Emergency Response Team.
- Compassionate improvements and re-design of the outpatient departments to reduce anxiety for young children and patients with a learning disability.
- Specialist paediatric nurses were employed to support children with diabetes and respiratory conditions, which included nurses visiting schools to give support and training to teaching staff.
The reports which CQC publish 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 including Healthwatch.
On Thursday 7 May the Care Quality Commission 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.
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- Last updated:
- 29 May 2017
Notes to editors