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South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust rating upgraded to Good after Care Quality Commission inspection shows improvement

28 October 2016
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has upgraded the rating of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from Requires Improvement to Good following an inspection by the CQC in June this year.

During this inspection, the team looked at those specific areas where the trust was rated as requires improvement when their comprehensive inspection report was published in June 2015. The areas which were included as part of this focussed follow inspection were based at; James Cook University Hospital, The Friarage Hospital and Redcar Primary Care Hospital.

The full report including ratings for the provider’s core services are available on this website.

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

“During our original inspection, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was going through a significant period of change to re-structure services and we saw them engaging with staff, local commissioners and the public. It is clear that this process and the changes that have been implemented as a result, are reflected in the improved quality of care we found at this inspection.

“We came across numerous examples where patient outcomes have improved since our last inspection, which is great news for people using these services. These included outcomes for patients with sepsis or non-traumatic chest injuries, children with a fever, and also those patients in an unscheduled return to A&E.

“We also found significant progress had been made in the areas of finance and governance which was a very encouraging sign.

“We were very impressed with the improvements we saw, and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust should be proud of their new Good rating. However there are still some areas where we have told the trust they must make improvements.

Inspectors identified a number of areas of outstanding practice being provided by the trust including:

  • Their lead nurse for end of life care leading on a regional piece of work in South Tees looking at the education of healthcare professionals around the Deciding Right tools (a North East initiative for making care decisions for those at end of life, in advance).
  • The trust’s development of a detailed programme around the patient flow in and out of the hospital, aimed at reducing unnecessary admissions and helping to support patients being seen closer to home in a more appropriate facility. 

Although there was much improvement, CQC have identified areas where the trust must make improvement including:

  • The trust must ensure processes are in place and understood by Friarage staff around maintenance, and the moving and handling of equipment, and transfer of deceased patients particularly out of hours.
  • The end of life strategy must be approved and implemented, moving to develop a seven-day palliative care service.
  • The trust must continue to develop plans to ensure appropriate staffing levels on wards, particularly in the neonatal unit to meet the British Association of Perinatal Medicine guidelines.
  • The discharge lounge at the Friarage Hospital must be reviewed in relation to maintaining and cleaning equipment and ensuring the environment is suitable for patients and fit for purpose.

The report is 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 including Healthwatch.


For further information, please contact Kerri James, CQC Regional Engagement Communications Officer by email or by phone on 07464 92 9966.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here.

Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides acute hospital services at James Cook University Hospital and The Friarage Hospital to the local population as well as delivering community health services in Hambleton, Redcar, Richmondshire, Middlesbrough and Cleveland. The trust also provides a range of specialist regional services to 1.5 million people in the Tees Valley and parts of Durham, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.


The services looked at, as part of this inspection were:


James Cook University Hospital

  • Urgent and Emergency services
  • Medical Care
  • Services for Children and Young People
  • End of Life Care
  • Outpatients and Diagnostic Imaging

The Friarage Hospital

  • Urgent and Emergency Services
  • Medical Care
  • End of Life Care
  • Outpatients and Diagnostic Imaging

Redcar Primary Care Hospital

  • Urgent Care Centre
  • Community Inpatients

This report follows a focussed inspection on the quality of services provided at South Tees Hospitals 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? You can find out more about CQC’s approach to inspection on our website at


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. For further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings, please visit:

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.