Hospital trust ‘requires improvement’, inspectors say

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The NHS Trust which runs hospitals and clinics across the county ‘requires improvement’ despite doing well in many categories, according to an official inspection.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) felt South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust rated as either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ in 46 of 59 categories of assessment, but this was not enough to earn it a higher rating.

In its March inspection, the CQC found the safety, effectiveness and the leadership of services at the trust needed improving, but found the care and the responsiveness of the trust’s services were good - resulting in the overall ‘requires improvement’ verdict.

The report’s author and chief inspector of hospitals Prof Sir Mike Richards said the trust must improve risk assessments for patients, staff training in safeguarding children and their management of patients suffering from mental health issues.

Bosses were disappointed with the overall rating, and still felt proud of what the trust had achieved.

Chief Executive of the Trust Glen Burley said: “We employ some of the best clinicians in the country and are extremely proud of the services that we deliver across Warwickshire and of our teams that provide them.

“The report confirms that we have been recognised nationally in many areas, in particular our work within A and E and urgent care to improve patient flow where we are now providing support and advice to other organisations to help them improve safety.

“There were three recommendations that the CQC highlighted as important and these have all been addressed. We have requested a re-inspection at the earliest convenience with a different inspection team.”

Chairman Russell Hardy said: “Having worked across many organisations what I have witnessed here is excellent leadership and an extremely positive culture.

“We are proud of all of our teams. They deliver excellent services day in day out to the people of Warwickshire and it is pleasing to see so many areas highlighted as good practice.

“We have not seen another inspection report that has so many ‘good’ areas that has not then been rated overall as at least ‘good’.”

Medical director Charles Ashton said: “I am confident of the high quality and safe care that we provide for our patients and service users.

“During my feedback session with the CQC, they provided assurance that there were no major concerns. This is reflected in the body of the report and I think it is unfortunate that our overall rating does not suggest this.

“I am proud of the teams and feel our clinical care is excellent.”

60 per cent of NHS trusts across the country have been rated as ‘requires improvement’ by the CQC.