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CQC finds The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to be Inadequate

11 August 2016
  • Media

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the services provided by Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust as Inadequate following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

A team of inspectors found that the trust provided services that were caring, but were Inadequate for being safe and well led, and Requires Improvement to be effective and responsive.

Rochdale Infirmary and the Trust’s Community Services were rated as Good, Fairfield General Hospital was rated as Requires Improvement and North Manchester General Hospital and the Royal Oldham Hospital were rated as Inadequate.

The full report of the inspection is now available on this website.

Ellen Armistead, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:

“During our inspection we saw staff treating patients in a compassionate and sensitive way, however we had serious concerns about the systems and procedures that are in place to keep people safe and free from harm.

“The trust did not have a robust understanding of its key risks at departmental, divisional or board level. In a number of services including A&E, maternity, children’s and critical care, key risks were not recognised, escalated or mitigated effectively.

“Although the trust had undertaken work to determine appropriate staffing levels, we found significant shortages in nursing, midwifery and medical staff.

“Performance reporting was inconsistent, this had been acknowledged by the trust and work was underway to address this, however, this was work was still in its early stages at the time of our inspection. We also had concerns in respect of the quality of data provided to support performance reporting. We did not see any evidence of testing data quality in respect of performance monitoring and management as part of our inspection.

“Over recent months the trust had put in place systems and processes to improve clinical governance and leadership. However, at the time of our inspection the new structures had not yet been fully embedded and were not well understood. As a result, clinical and performance risks were not being managed effectively.

“Such is the level of concern that we have around quality and safety that in line with normal policy we would have considered recommending the trust should go into special measures. That would involve the appointment of an improvement director and supporting infrastructure which would assure CQC that the trust had the capacity to improve at pace.

“Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust was asked to assume leadership of the trust, immediately following inspection. Salford’s leadership team, rated Outstanding by us in its most recent inspection of the trust, has put in place a comprehensive plan for further investigation into the challenges faced by Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, with action plans to deliver improvement.

“It is important that the findings of this inspection mark a turning point for the trust. CQC will be monitoring very closely the improvements that need to be made to ensure the safety and well-being of people using the services at the trust.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications Officer Kerri James by email or by phone on 07464 92 9966. 

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here.

Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

This is the first comprehensive report on the quality of services provided at the trust, using the Care Quality Commission’s new way of inspecting.


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?


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.