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Royal hospital retains 'good' rating following inspection

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as good overall.

The report found that the Royal is maintaining high standards in the regulator’s five domains, which ask if services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

There was more good news for the Trust in the CQC’s inspection report – published today (Friday, January 25 2019) – which specifically singled out End of Life Care and Children’s Mental Health Services. Both of these were recognised as outstanding for the care they provide.

Commenting on the rating, Lynn Andrews, Director of Nursing and Patient Care at the Royal says: “I’m so proud of our staff and how hard they work to provide the best possible care and services to our patients.

"Our good rating recognises their dedication and to have two elements of care singled out for being outstanding is a delight. I hope every member of staff feels just as proud of our achievement and that they appreciate how each of them has contributed to our success.”

The CQC’s inspection report provides detailed commentary about inspector’s findings. It explains why the ratings have been awarded in each of the domains, including:

  • End of life care was described as provided with compassion, kindness and support; with multi- disciplinary working and partnerships with other agencies and volunteers demonstrating outstanding practice to support patients, relatives and carers;
  • The child and adolescent mental health service was highlighted for outstanding engagement with the young people in its care – protecting and safeguarding them within a team that have the skills and experience to provide the right care and treatment;
  • Good safe services – including enough staff with the right qualifications, skills and experience to keep patients safe from avoidable harm, assessing patient risks and responding appropriately;
  • Good effective services – for example improving patients’ health with food and drinks, managing patients’ pain effectively and staff working together as a team for the benefit of their patients;
  • Good caring services – with compassionate staff supporting patients and their family members, involving them in decisions about care and treatment and providing emotional support to reduce distress. The report also notes that carers and relatives praised treatment provided with dignity and respect;
  • Good responsive services – including accessibility, better than national referral to treatment times in some specialties, patients’ needs considered and adjustments made for children and young people with autism or a learning disability. The Trust was also deemed to take complaints seriously to make sure they were investigated and that results supported learning;
  • Good well-led services – the Trust was described as having a clear vision for what it wants to achieve, with skilled leaders promoting a positive culture that values and supports staff. The CQC also highlighted the organisation’s approach to continually improving quality, safeguarding high standards of care and identifying and addressing risks; and
  • All teams were praised for their commitment to learning from the things they do well – and the occasions when care and treatment goes wrong. This included an issue with protecting patients from infection, which was found by inspectors during their Autumn 2018 visit. The CQC report highlights the immediate action taken to rectify concerns.

With a host of positive comments like these and a much improved rating chart, the Trust’s ambition to reach an outstanding award for all of its services shows real progress. Two years ago it was also rated good, although with 12 elements that ‘required improvement’.

These have reduced to three this time- around and the Trust has pledged to address them quickly, using the Chief Inspector of Hospitals’ points of improvement as a starting point.

The report sets out just two areas the Trust must-do - tightening up processes for assessing patients’ capacity to make decisions - and making sure staff training in the Mental Capacity Act (which supports that assessment process) is robust.

There are also around 20 actions the CQC recommend the Trust takes to make services even better. They range from monitoring staff training compliance and improving storage for medical records, through to keeping corridors free from clutter and reducing waiting times for some young peoples’ assessments – in autism spectrum, attention hyperactivity disorder and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Ms Andrews comments: “CQC inspections give us an opportunity to see our services through a fresh pair of eyes. We must celebrate all the positives staff have achieved here, nevertheless it’s equally important to focus on ‘what’s next?’ in relation to improvement.

"We are all committed to improving the care and services we provide and this report gives us even more of an incentive, along with some tips and ideas about how to get there.

"As we continue on our journey to achieve an outstanding rating for all our hospital services, I would like to thank all of our staff for their continued determination and support.”

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