CQC inspectors have noted how improvements are continuing at Queen’s and King George hospitals, with three of the five domains rated ‘good’.
We were already rated as good for caring, now inspectors have recognised how we’ve progressed and have rated both effective and well-led as good. The safe and responsive domains remain ‘requires improvement’, as does our overall rating.
The updated inspection report for our Trust will be available online today (Thursday 9 January 2020). In the report, inspectors noted how our ‘doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals work well together to benefit patients, and support each other to provide good quality care’. They also praised how our ‘staff treat patients with compassion and kindness, respecting their privacy and dignity and take into account their individual needs’.
Inspectors saw several examples of outstanding practice, such as end of life care at Queen’s Hospital, including mortuary visits for staff to help them understand the importance of care after death. Our Senior Intern scheme, the first of its kind in the country which has received national acclaim, was also outstanding. The scheme, which has grown from a team of three senior interns to five thanks to its success, involves experienced nurses supporting newly qualified colleagues, which has had a huge impact on our retention rates. Inspectors also said they had found demonstrable evidence of where our PRIDE Way methodology for making improvements was having a positive impact.
Chris Bown, our interim Chief Executive, said: “While we know there is still much more to do, I am delighted that inspectors have recognised our steady progress; rated us as good in three of the domains, including well-led; and praised our kind and compassionate staff and the high quality of care we provide to our patients every day. I am heartened that England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, has said we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
Our Chair, Joe Fielder, commented: “Once again, our continuing, steady improvement has been recognised by the CQC. I would like to thank our staff, our patients and our partners for all their support as we strive to achieve our vision of providing outstanding care. I was also pleased that inspectors recognised we are working hard to improve our finances, despite challenging circumstances, and that NHS Improvement has moved our use of resources rating from ‘inadequate’, to ‘requires improvement’.”
There were also several areas where we need to make improvements, which in most cases, are already underway. Inspectors noted our Paediatric Emergency Department at Queen’s Hospital should have sufficient staff at all times. Usually, two registered children’s nurses are in the department, however, when a second children’s nurse is unavailable, it is covered by a nurse, who, while not a specific children’s nurse, does have additional paediatric experience to allow them to care for children.
Inspectors also found there could be a shortage of middle-grade doctors. Doctor recruitment is a challenge for NHS trusts across the country, and we’ve already brought in innovative ways to tackle this, including introducing our own Academy of Surgery, to recruit doctors from abroad.