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CQC find improvements at Poole NHS Foundation Trust

23 January 2018
Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has found improvement in the quality of services for patients during the latest inspection of Poole NHS Foundation Trust. As a result of the inspection, the trust is now rated as Good.

A team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the trust unannounced between September and October to check the quality of three core services: surgery, critical care, and services for children and young people.

CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well led?

As a result the trust’s overall rating is now Good, with effectiveness, caring, responsiveness to people’s needs and leadership all being rated Good, and safety rated Requires Improvement.

CQC has also published the trust’s Use of Resources report, which is based on an assessment undertaken by NHS Improvement. The trust has been issued an indicative, or shadow, Use of Resources rating of Good because it demonstrated it has used its resources effectively.

CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (South), Amanda Stanford, said:

“Previously, Poole NHS Foundation Trust was rated as requiring improvement. I am pleased to note that the Trust has taken our previous reports and used them to implement improvement. The trust already had a good track record in delivering effective, caring and well led care and has made significant improvements in the responsiveness of services we inspected.

“The board and senior leadership team had a clear vision that was aligned to the outcome of the Dorset wide clinical services review which was shortly before our inspection. It is important that any changes to the ways hospitals services are commissioned and planned in future ensure that the needs of the patients who rely on these services come first.

“The trust leadership knows that some further areas of improvement are required.

"Our inspectors will return at a later date to check on what progress has been made.”

Critical care services have now been rated as Good. Inspectors found that the intensive care team worked closely with outreach teams to identify deteriorating patients in other wards and units who might need earlier support. Patients were escalated to the unit as required to ensure they received the most appropriate care and support at an earlier stage.

Children’s services were also rated Good. Gully's Place, an area in the hospital that cares for children at the end of life, was recognised in awards for excellence in patient care.

However, inspectors did find medicines were not always stored securely. There were occasions when some medicines could be accessed by non-clinical staff. There was there was also variation in safety checks of controlled drugs in surgical services. Staff were not always using the results of safety monitoring well to improve patient care.

Trust leaders were aware that their financial position as a stand-alone trust was not sustainable in the longer term and were committed to working with system-wide partners to transform services across Dorset.

The trust were involved in national improvement projects. In the medical care group leaders had introduced a forum to promote innovation at all levels. Staff who took part were recognised and rewarded for their efforts.


For media enquiries, call John Scott on 07789 875 809. 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.

For media enquiries about the NHSI Use of Resources report contact Claire Green, regional communications manager, south, for NHS Improvement on 01823 361288, 07712 541984 or

Last updated:
24 January 2018

Notes to editors

  • Whenever CQC inspects we will always ask the following five questions: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led?
  • Under CQC’s current programme of inspections, we aim to inspect every NHS trust at least once between June 2017 and spring 2019. We use information that we hold on each trust to inform our decision about when and what to inspect.
  • During the unannounced inspection we will normally look in detail at certain core services, based on previous inspection findings or wider intelligence, followed by an inspection of trust leadership. Our previous inspections of NHS trusts have shown a strong link between the quality of overall management of a trust and the quality of its services.
  • Each inspection team is led by a member of CQC’s staff and includes specialist professional advisors such as clinicians and pharmacists. Where appropriate, an inspection team will also include Experts by Experience. These are people who have experienced care personally or experience of caring for someone who has received a particular type of care.
  • How CQC monitors, inspects and regulates NHS trusts.
  • NHS Improvement began using the Use of Resources framework and methodology to assess non-specialist acute trusts’ use of resources in October 2017.
  • The Use of Resources rating is considered indicative or ‘shadow’ at this stage as CQC is currently piloting how the Use of Resources report and rating integrates within its existing quality assurance, rating and reporting processes. The final Use of Resources rating will be confirmed once these processes have been agreed and following publication of a consultation response. The Use of Resources assessment will not have to be repeated in these trusts for the rating to be finalised.
  • CQC and NHS Improvement jointly published a consultation on 8 November seeking the sectors feedback on the proposed approach to reporting on and rating trusts’ use of resources. Based on feedback received, CQC and NHS Improvement will advise the sector how the Use of Resources report and rating will be combined with the CQC’s other quality ratings and published alongside the CQC’s other inspection reports.

Initially only non-specialist acute trusts will be assessed for Use of Resources, due to the data available. As well as being used to generate a Use of Resources report and rating, the findings from the Use of Resources assessment feed into NHS Improvement’s considerations of improvement support needs, as part of the Single Oversight Framework.

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.