‘Hospitals need to improve’ – watchdog
CQC inspection issued its findings in latest report
HEALTH watchdogs have told an NHS trust it requires improvement following an inspection.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued its findings last month after the inspection of Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust in June last year.
The report said the hospital requires improvement for being safe and responsive, particularly in its completion and monitoring of data, in delivering its overall ‘requires improvement’ rating.
The trust responded by saying improvements were already being made and that significant progress would be seen in a ‘short timeframe’.
The trust delivers care across two sites in Royal Brompton, in Sydney Street, Chelsea, and Harefield Hospital, in Hill End Road, Harefield, and oversees the largest specialist heart and lung unit in the UK and also Europe’s largest centre for the treatment and management of cystic fibrosis.
There were many positives to take from the report, with the CQC praising the trust for being effective, caring and well-led, as well as offering some of the best outcomes for heart and lung treatment in the country.
The chief inspector of hospitals, Sir Mike Richards, said: “We found patients received compassionate care by staff who spoke about their trust with passion and pride.
“There are many people who owe their lives to the dedication and expertise of their staff.
“However, there are areas for improvement. I note that critical care services have not in the past submitted data for national audit – which means that it has been difficult to compare the trust’s quality of care with other hospitals.
“I am concerned that there was poor completion of the World Health Organisation Safer Surgery checklist at both hospitals, despite discussions among the staff about patient safety risks.
“The trust must also take greater care to ensure that clinical staff are monitoring patients whose condition may deteriorate, using the standard National Early Warning Score ( NEWS) charts.”
During the inspection of the two hospitals, CQC inspectors found that teams of all clinical discipline worked well together with wards having access to a range of health professionals such as speech and language therapists, dietitians, physiotherapists and various types of nurses.
Inspectors particularly praised the trust’s ventricular assist device team which cares for patients undergoing surgery for an artificial heart – the only service in the UK able to offer this treatment independently – and its continuous research compassionate programmes.
Bob Bell, chief executive of the trust, told the Gazette that there was much to celebrate, with eight out of 11 services achieving an overall rating of ‘good’.
He added: “We appreciate that there are and care areas where we need to improve.
“We know what they are, have already made progress with some of them and are developing robust action plans for others.
“We are confident that within a short timeframe significant improvements are possible and we will be reporting our progress to our board on a regular basis.”
Last year, NHS England announced plans to transfer the trust’s child heart disease units to neighbouring hospitals. The specialist heart and lung hospital is one of three across the country earmarked to lose their congenital heart surgery.
REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT: Harefield Hospital