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Further progress required at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

3 October 2017
Stepping Hill Hospital
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Stockport NHS Foundation Trust that it must make further improvements following two inspections in March and June 2017. During the first inspection of Stepping Hill Hospital in March inspectors visited the urgent and emergency department and medical care, to follow up on concerns identified in the trust’s previous inspection.

Inspectors returned to the hospital in June 2017, where they focused on concerns that had been identified by CQC’s routine monitoring of intelligence.

As a result of the inspection, the urgent and emergency services department has been rated Inadequate. Although medical care remains rated as Requires Improvement,the Safe domain in medical care was rated as Inadequate as a result of the inspection. The trust’s overall rating remains as Requires Improvement.

A full report can be found on our website.

CQC found that safety within the emergency department was still not a sufficient priority. Nurse staffing was a significant challenge with patients experiencing delay in treatment.

During the inspection of medical care in June, CQC requested immediate assurance from the trust that it had addressed the shortage of nursing staff. Incident reporting was poor. Staff did not always report incidents in line with the trust’s policy and procedure and there was insufficient oversight of incident data from the management team.

In medical services, patients were waiting too long to be discharged from the hospital; this in turn meant that patients needing treatment were waiting too long to be admitted. The numbers of delayed discharges had increased since the last inspection.

The hospital had opened a community unit where patients ready for discharge could be accommodated until arrangements had been made to be cared for at home. Inspectors found that services were planned to meet the needs of the local population and that staff were committed to delivering good, compassionate care.

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

“It is disappointing to report that the care provided by Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has deteriorated since our inspection in 2016. “It is clear that access and flow is still a major concern. Too many patients are waiting in the emergency department to be admitted, transferred or discharged – well below the standard set by the Department of Health."

“Although we recognise the pressures that the trust is under – it is clear that there are several areas where the trust can and must improve. We will return in due course to check the trust’s progress.”

CQC has identified a number of areas where the trust must make improvements, including:

  • The trust must ensure that records are securely stored, legible and completed fully.
  • The trust must ensure that patients with diabetes receive safe and effective care.
  • The trust must ensure that incidents are managed and reported in line with their own policy.
  • The trust must ensure that medications are managed appropriately and secured safely.
  • The trust must ensure there is an adequate skills mix on all medical wards and that staff have the right level of competence to effectively nurse the patients they are asked to care for.
  • The trust must ensure that it is compliant with the Mental Capacity Act and that all staff have the required level of training in this area.
  • The trust must ensure there is consistent categorisation of the same type of incident in the trust’s incident reporting system.


For further information, please contact David Fryer, Regional Communications Manager - North, on 07754 438750.

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Last updated:
02 October 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.

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.