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CQC finds improvement at Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust

1 February 2017
Queen Alexandra Hospital
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

The Care Quality Commission today 1 February publishes the findings of a focused inspection of urgent and emergency services and medical services at Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust.

The inspection, which was conducted over two days in September 2016, took place to ensure improvements had been embedded and sustained following a previous inspection by CQC in February and March 2016.

During CQC’s previous visit inspectors found that people who used the emergency services at Queen Alexandra Hospital may have been exposed to the risk of harm. CQC demanded that the trust take immediate action and, under section 31 of the Health and Social Care Act (2008), imposed conditions on its registration.

The trust had to immediately ensure:

  • A clinical transformation lead was appointed based on external advice and agreement, and to ensure there was effective medical and nursing leadership in the emergency department.
  • Patients attending the emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital were triaged, assessed and streamlined by appropriate staff, and escalation procedures were followed.
  • The ’Jumbulance’ (a large multi-patient use ambulance) was not to be used on site at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, unless a major incident was declared.
  • CQC received regular monitoring information from the trust.

At that time, CQC rated urgent and emergency services and medical services as Inadequate.

In September 2016 inspectors undertook a further unannounced focussed inspection of emergency care at the Queen Alexandra Hospital. This unannounced inspection was to look at the action the trust had taken as a result of the urgent conditions imposed upon it to improve the emergency care pathway. CQC inspected two core services, urgent and emergency care and medical services. Sustained improvements had been made in the emergency department and the emergency care pathway although further work was needed to ensure this was sustained. Following this inspection the overall rating of urgent and emergency services and medical services has moved to ‘Requires Improvement.’

  • A senior medical transformation lead had been appointed and was working with trust to make necessary changes.
  • The vehicle known as the ‘Jumbulance’ had been removed
  • The department had submitted performance monitoring data to CQC and had started to use this in its own improvement reporting and monitoring
  • Incident reporting and figures about delays in treatment now more accurately reflected emergency department activity.
  • There were effective processes and reporting to the trust board within the emergency department.

Professor Edward Baker, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (South), said:

“I am aware that Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust has been under a tremendous amount of local scrutiny regarding its accident and emergency department. Despite this, the trust has concentrated its efforts to provide sustainable improvements. While there is still further improvement needed we considered that the trust had met the urgent conditions imposed on its registration. We have therefore lifted these conditions.

“The trust leadership recognises that there is still a significant amount of work to do and that systems need to be embedded to ensure long term improvement. They have assured us that the trust will continue to working to ensure further improvements are made.

“We will be monitoring the trust’s progress closely and will return to check that the required improvements have been made and are being sustained.”


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

This report follows a focussed inspection on the quality of services provided at Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust. Inspection teams include a range of clinical and other experts including experts by experience.

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.