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CQC publishes report on University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

4 June 2021
University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a report following an announced focused inspection of University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust.

The inspection took place in April to look at leadership, culture, governance, information management and learning at this trust because concerns were raised about the safety and quality of some areas.

The concerns related to high number of never events reported in the period from March 2020 to January 2021. Never events are serious, largely preventable, patient safety incidents that should not happen. Other concerns related to an incident of a breach of information governance; a small number of patients being referred to the trust whose treatment had either not been carried out, or not followed-up on in a timely way; and an incident which gave rise to concerns around employment of temporary staff.

As this was a focused inspection of some individual elements of the well-led question, CQC did not rate the trust at this time. The trust was formed on 1 October 2020 and has yet to receive a rating by CQC for its services or hospital locations.

Catherine Campbell, CQC’s head of hospital inspection for the south west, said:

“During the inspection of University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, we found leaders had the skills and abilities to run the service. They understood and managed the priorities and issues the service faced and were visible and approachable in the service for their staff.

“The culture was open, and staff could discuss errors without fear of reprisal. There were effective processes focused on learning from mistakes and continuously improving practices.

“However, governance systems were not always effective in determining patients’ pathways of care and treatment. In a small number of cases of patients being treated for cancer at Poole Hospital, the system used did not prevent treatments from being missed, delayed or terminated in error. We recognise the trust had taken steps to address these gaps, but until the system is tested and these fully investigated, the risk to patient care and treatment still remains.

“Inspectors have made clear to the trust where action is needed, and we continue to monitor their progress to ensure improvements are made and thoroughly embedded.”

During the inspection, CQC found:

  • There were some failings in cancer treatment for patients because staff had not adhered to process, and this was not discovered at the time through governance systems.
  • There were concerns around access rights of staff in one area of the organisation’s IT systems. This suggested an area of culture and staff accountability which needed further attention.
  • It was recognised this was a new organisation and the trust leadership knew there were gaps that needed addressing in some areas, and processes that needed to be improved.

However, inspectors also found:

  • Leaders had the skills and abilities to run the service and understood and were able to manage the issues the service faced.
  • The service had an open culture where staff could raise concerns and discuss incidents without fear.
  • There were significant developments in patient information systems and data security underway.


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Last updated:
09 June 2021

Notes to editors

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.