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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust becomes first specialist hospital to be rated as Outstanding

16 September 2016
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has found Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to be Outstanding after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

This is the first specialist hospital in the country to be rated as Outstanding.

Liverpool Heart and Chest Foundation Trust provide specialist services in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, respiratory medicine including adult cystic fibrosis and diagnostic imaging, both in the hospital and in the community, from locations in the Boroughs of Liverpool and Knowsley.

CQC carried out an announced inspection from 26 – 29 April this year and also undertook an unannounced inspection on 13 May.

The trust was rated as Outstanding for being caring, responsive and well-led, and Good for being safe and effective. Overall, the trust has been rated as Outstanding. CQC also rated the community service as Outstanding.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

“We found the care at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to be of exceptional quality. There was a very clear vision and strategy for delivering the highest standards of patient care with a strong focus on quality and a positive patient experience.

“There was effective team work across all staff groups and we saw positive examples of collaborative working with the board and senior management to improve patient care.

“I was encouraged to hear about some of the responsive work the trust was involved with. More procedures were being undertaken as day cases and the Holly unit had been designed specifically to meet the needs of the patients and relatives. The unit had excellent resources which included a relaxation room with massage chairs for patients and relatives and computers that provided access to the internet. There was also a fully equipped beverage bay where snacks and drinks were readily available.”

“This is a trust that clearly has patient-centred care as a priority, evidenced by consistent positive feedback. They are prepared to innovate and work collaboratively across all staff groups. The trust’s chest x-ray competency tool was developed for advanced practitioners and this had been shared both nationally and in Europe – a great example of the trust leading in its field. All of this demonstrates that this is one of the best trusts in England and I commend them on their outstanding rating.”

There were many factors that contributed to the outstanding rating including:

  • Innovative projects such as the continuous glucose monitoring and the cardioversion service.
  • The nurse led chest drain clinic which enabled patients to be discharged home with a chest drain connected to a flutter bag. A standardised discharge letter was developed for district nurses with all relevant information. This enabled patients to be cared for at home without frequent trips to the hospital to aspirate fluid, therefore hopefully making the end of life more comfortable and dignified for patients and families.
  • The trust had developed the ‘Liverpool Lounge Suit’ that patients could wear during procedures. The suit replaced the traditional hospital gown and supported the patients dignity as the design of the suit meant that only the minimum of exposure was required to carry out the procedure and the patients dignity maintained.
  • A new role developed as part of a pilot they ran, called the ‘Total Care Practitioner.’ This member of the care team will play an essential role supporting the patient to achieve their agreed goals through facilitation, intensive short term support to help them regain their independence and deliver therapy and nursing interventions.

There are some areas where CQC has told the trust they must make improvements. In the critical care department they should ensure the policy for managing delirium is updated, and that a policy for administering medicine in end of life care should be implemented to ensure that up to date evidence based practice is followed.

In end of life care, the trust should also ensure that consultant cover is increased to meet the national standard required.

The reports which CQC publishes today are based on a combination of its inspection findings, information from CQC’s Intelligent Monitoring system, and information provided by patients, the public and other organisations.


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

This report follows a comprehensive inspection on the quality of services provided at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Inspection teams include a range of clinical and other experts including experts by experience.

Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led? Find out more about CQC’s approach to inspection.

Registered providers of health and social care services are 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.