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CQC inspection finds improvements at Taunton and Somerset Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

5 December 2017
Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has found an improvement in the quality of services for patients during the latest inspection of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

A team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited Musgrove Park Hospital unannounced in August to check the quality of four core services: urgent and emergency care, surgery, end of life care and outpatients. CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well led?

As a result of the inspection, the ratings for urgent and emergency services and end of life care have been upgraded to Good, Surgery and Outpatients were also rated Good. The Trust is rated Good overall and Good for being Well Led, although safety remains rated Requires Improvement. Full details of the ratings are given in the grid below and online.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said:

“Musgrove Park Hospital continues to provide a Good service to the people of Taunton and Somerset, with services rated Outstanding for caring."

“I am pleased that during this inspection we have been able to record improvements in some important services – notably with better outcomes for patients in the emergency department and end of life care. Overall we have found the trust to be well led, with a dedicated management team who understood the challenges the organisation faced and were committed to sustainable care that extended beyond the borders of the hospital."

“The trust needs to focus on patient safety, where we require further improvements. We will continue to monitor the trust’s performance and we will return in due course to check on further progress.”

Inspectors found that since the previous inspection in May 2016 there had been significant improvements in the emergency department, particularly around paediatric nursing. The integrated front door model was being used to improve patient flow through the department and arrange for the most appropriate clinician to assess the patient. However, some areas of sepsis treatment needed to improve, along with triage times for patients.

In surgery, action had been taken to resolve issues with theatre safety and surgical site infections. However, there were some patients not being treated within the national target times for their referral to treatment. Plans to reduce these waiting times had been presented to commissioners.

End of life care had improved in the delivery of the service and outcomes for people. Patients’ needs were met and treatment delivered by well-trained, caring staff. Services were flexible, although not all patient records were completed. There were shortfalls in the recording of consent. Staff were not always involving patients who had the capacity to make their own choices in decisions about their care.

Staff working in outpatients felt the culture in the various departments had improved over the last year. There were improvement projects planned for the future. However, the referral to treatment times for a large proportion of the specialties were not meeting NHS England’s targets.

The inspection found examples of outstanding practice in urgent and emergency care, end of life care, outpatients, and surgery services. There were also areas for improvement including breaches of five regulations that the trust must put right.

Full reports including ratings for all of the provider’s core services are available on our website.

Overall ratings for this trust or hospital are calculated by combining individual ratings against each key question. The table attached shows the current ratings for core services - either from this inspection or from a previous inspection if the service was not inspected this time.


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Last updated:
04 December 2017

Notes to editors

Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service:
  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?
Since 1 April, registered providers of health and social care services have been required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily.

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, as well as wider intelligence - followed by an inspection of how well-led a provider is. 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.


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.