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CQC publishes first four reports from its new hospital inspections

21 November 2013
  • Hospitals

21 November 2013

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today (21 November) published the first reports from its new programme of hospital inspections.

The inspections, under the leadership of CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards involved significantly larger inspection teams than CQC has used in the past. The teams – called inspection panels - included doctors, nurses and other experts and trained members of the public. For the trusts concerned, they covered every site that delivers acute services and eight key services areas: A&E; medical care (including frail elderly); surgery; intensive/critical care; maternity; paediatrics/children’s care; end of life care; outpatients.

The inspections were a mixture of announced and unannounced visits and included inspections in the evenings and weekends when we know people can experience poor care. On the evening of the first day of each inspection there was a ‘listening event’ where local people were able to tell members of the inspection panel their views of the hospital’s care.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards said: "These reports mark an important milestone in our new approach to hospital inspections. By using larger teams including more experts and people who have used hospital services, we have really been able to get under the skin of these trusts. The inspections have been backed up by CQC’s new intelligent monitoring, giving the teams the information they needed to focus their inspections on areas of concern.

"Our aim was to answer five key questions about each service: are they safe, caring, effective, well-led and responsive to people’s needs? I believe the reports answer these questions and give people a much richer picture of the care provided in their local hospitals than has ever before been available – and they highlight the good as well as the areas where my inspection teams found improvements are needed.

"I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in these inspections. It is a great achievement that we have been able to get the programme up and running so quickly. We’ll take what we have learned from these first four inspections to help us develop and improve the process; they have been particularly helpful in shaping our thinking on ratings, which we will start to give to hospital services from January next year."

Overall, 136 people were involved in the four inspections. Of these 18 were doctors, including junior doctors; 17 were nurses, including trainee nurses; and 15 were trained members of the public with experience of hospital services. About 250 people attended the listening events to give us their views on care – many others contacted us in other ways.

The full reports for each trust are published on CQC’s website. In summary our findings are:

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

Overall, the report concludes that the new senior management team at the trust are working hard to change its culture, and while it is early days, this seemed to be having a positive impact. Despite this there were still areas of the hospital where care needed to be significantly improved. CQC found that some outpatient clinics were poorly organised and significant numbers of older people were being discharged in the evening. Inspectors were also concerned about low staffing levels affecting patient care especially in wards for older people. The poor physical environment in A and E and in some other parts of the hospital made the delivery of care difficult.

Read the full press release about Croydon University Hospital...

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

Overall the report concludes that patients at Airedale General Hospital were positive about the care they received. Staff said that they felt proud to work at the hospital. There was a good sense of community, with high levels of volunteering. The trust is well-managed and benefits from a stable, experienced board and a clear governance structure. This is paying dividends in high levels of staff engagement and patient satisfaction.

Read the full press release about Airedale General Hospital...

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

Overall the report concludes that The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust is generally providing patients with safe and effective care. However, there are a number of areas for improvement. There was a shortage of midwives and concerns regarding staffing in surgical care and wards caring for older people.

Read the full press release about New Cross Hospital...

Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Overall the report concludes that Musgrove Park Hospital is providing patients with safe and effective care. But the hospital is dealing with a high number of patients and the quality of care and the effectiveness of treatment was affected at busy times. Some patients were experiencing long waits for surgery and outpatient appointments.

Read the full press release about Musgrove Park Hospital...


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Last updated:
29 May 2017