You are here

CQC inspectors call for further improvements to patient services at Royal Cornwall Hospital

6 April 2018
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

The Care Quality Commission has warned Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust that it must make further significant improvements to the quality of its services.

During an unannounced inspection in January CQC found continuing concerns in surgery, critical care, maternity, and outpatient services.

A full report has been published today.

Inspectors found that although there had been improvements in some areas, notably in children's services, the trust had failed to make enough progress since its last comprehensive inspection in July 2017.

As a consequence CQC has issued a further Warning Notice requiring the trust to make significant improvements by 13 April.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust remains in special measures after the previous inspection rated surgery, maternity and gynaecology, end of life and outpatient services as Inadequate.

The trust is rated Inadequate overall.

During the latest inspection there were serious concerns that systems to assess and deal with risks to patients in maternity and surgery were not operating effectively.

Governance systems were not operating effectively in critical care and the fracture clinic to support significant and sustained improvement.

Systems and processes to ensure equipment was of good repair and properly maintained were not operating effectively.

Nor were there effective systems for the management of incidents and Never Events, or to comply with the requirements of the duty of candour.

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

“It is disappointing to report that our longstanding concerns persist about the safety and quality of some services at Treliske Hospital.

“The hospital's systems to assess or mitigate the risks to patients are not good enough. We found that patient safety issues are not being given sufficient priority, either in the maternity unit or in surgery.

“However I am satisfied that the trust has taken action to ensure that cardiac and ophthalmology patients waiting for appointments are now being appropriately assessed and managed according to their clinical need. In services for children and young people, there is now appropriate and sufficient staffing cover in the emergency department.

“In all other areas work is still needed to meet the requirements of the previous Warning Notice and so provide the standard of service that patients are entitled to expect. We will continue to monitor these services closely and we will return in future to check these changes have been made.”

A full report of the inspection is available on our website.


For further information, please contact John Scott, Regional Engagement Manager on 077898 75809.

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:
06 April 2018

Notes to editors

At its last comprehensive inspection (published in October 2017) Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust was rated Inadequate overall:

  • Safe Inadequate
  • Effective Requires improvement
  • Caring Good
  • Responsive Inadequate
  • Well-led Inadequate

The rating remains unchanged.

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?

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. For that reason, all trust inspections now include inspection of the well-led key question at the trust level.

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.