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The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

1 February 2017
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre
  • Media

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has found The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust to be Outstanding following an inspection by CQC.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust is one of the biggest cancer centres in the country and treats patients from across Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire, the Isle of Man and North Wales.

Oncology services provided at the hospital include 74 inpatient beds over three inpatient wards and a four bed young peoples’ unit.

CQC carried out an announced inspection from 7 to 9 June 2016. The trust was rated as Requires Improvement for safety, Good for effectiveness and responsiveness and Outstanding for caring and well-led.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

“The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust is a centre of excellence delivering state of the art, care. During our inspection we found its services to be Outstanding for being caring and well-led

“The trust was providing superb care, with a leadership team that was visible and respected. Staff were proud to work at Clatterbridge and spoke positively about the care they delivered. There was a friendly and open culture and staff received regular feedback to aid future learning and being supported training by their managers.

“The trust had infection control and prevention practices in place. Inspectors could see that clinical areas were visibly clean. People told us the service was well-staffed and that they had enough time to care for patients. Medical responses were also seen to be timely.

“Caring and compassion was in evidence both within the hospital and in the community. The Chemotherapy at Home project was outstanding and provided patients with treatment in their own homes. This service embodied the overall trust vision of providing the best cancer care to their patients.

“Inspectors witnessed commitment and dedication from staff as well as some excellent practice. This included care for patients at the end of their life. For example, a number of weddings had been organised, with help from staff, for patients at short notice.

“We saw that Clatterbridge used innovative methods to provide cancer care that leads the way for this type of service. The introduction of an Adjuvant Zolendronatec service, a drug which improves the chances of survival for women with early-stage breast cancer, meant patients received the very latest evidence based treatment to reduce their risk of death and the recurrence of cancer. All of this demonstrates that this is one of the best specialist trusts in England and I congratulate all the staff on this Outstanding rating.”

CQC found outstanding practice across the service including:

  • Staff were given the opportunity to learn in an innovative and pioneering way. The hospital had developed a simulation based training programme - staff took part in training that involved simulating difficult situations so helping to develop the skills and knowledge of staff throughout the hospital
  • There was an ongoing programme to increase the skills of staff at the service. A programme for advanced practice radiographers had been developed which enabled consultants and registrars to concentrate on more complex work
  • Patients received an excellent level of emotional and practical support in less mainstream ways. The Pets as Therapy (PAT) national charity was used to enhance patients’ health and wellbeing in the community with visits from approved volunteers and their animals. The hospital also provided massages and relaxation techniques for patients.

The trust has been told it must make improvements in two particular areas:

  • Improve staffing within the diagnostic imaging service.
  • Ensure that concerns raised regarding protection documentation (as required by Ionising Radiation Regulations) were addressed. This was overdue for review at the time of CQC’s visit and did not reflect current clinical practise.

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


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

This report follows a comprehensive inspection on the quality of services provided at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust. Inspection teams include a range of clinical and other experts including experts by experience.

This is the fourth specialist hospital in the North West to receive CQC’s highest rating.

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? Find out more about CQC’s approach to inspection.

Registered providers of health and social care services are required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily.

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.