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CQC welcomes improvement in Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s urgent and emergency care
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s urgent and emergency care good, up from a previous rating of requires improvement, after it found patient safety had improved.
CQC inspected the department unannounced in June.
The previous inspection, in December last year, saw the department rated requires improvement. CQC also issued a warning notice requiring Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to improve its triage system and monitoring of patients while they waited for further assessment or treatment.
June’s inspection assessed whether these issues had been addressed.
In addition to being rated good following the latest inspection, the service was rated good for being safe and well-led. It was rated requires improvement for being responsive to people’s needs.
CQC’s ratings for Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and the provider of the service, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, are unchanged following the latest inspection. Both remain requires improvement overall.
Fiona Allinson, CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said:
“Our latest inspection of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s urgent and emergency care service found people received safer care because the service’s leaders had addressed issues we previously identified.
“We previously told the trust that the department’s triage processes were poor, and that it had no ystem to escalate patients if their health deteriorated.
“Our latest inspection found this had improved, with staff keeping patients’ risk assessments under review and acting quickly when they were at risk of deterioration.
“We also found the service was suitably staffed, clean and well equipped. It benefited from a clear vision of what it wanted to achieve, and how it should work with the wider healthcare sector to meet people’s needs.
“However, there were some areas for the trust to address – including reducing the department’s waiting times and ensuring it appropriately supported people with mental health needs.
“I congratulate all the trust’s staff who contributed to the department’s improvements. Their work has improved patient safety.
“We continue to monitor the department and trust, to ensure these improvements are embedded and further progress is made.”
CQC’s June inspection of Norfolk and Norwich Hospital’s urgent and emergency care found a better service, compared to its December assessment, because Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had acted on inspectors’ previous findings. This included sharpening the department’s response to patients at risk of deteriorating while they waited for further assessment or treatment.
Inspectors also found service had enough staff with the right skills and qualifications. Rotas were suitably planned, with staffing levels adjusted when required, to ensure the service met demand.
Clear and effective leadership had aided the progress. Senior staff promoted an open culture, where staff and patients could raise concerns, and performance data was reviewed to drive improvements.
While the quality and safety of care people received had improved, more work is needed to ensure the department is responsive to their needs.
Although waiting times had improved, despite continued pressure caused by the pandemic, the department continued to miss national standards for ambulance handovers and referral to treatment targets.
Full details of the inspection are given in the report published on our website.
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- Last updated:
- 30 July 2021
Notes to editors