PERFORMANCE: Inspectors have raised safety concerns over the quality of the urgent care service provided by Gloucestershire Care Services Trust.  

The Care Quality Commission today rated the community services provider as “requires improvement”.

The South West trust provides community services for children, young people and adults across seven community hospitals, minor injuries and illness units and dental clinics.

It also offers sexual health, specialist and rehabilitation services.

While the inspection team found examples of “outstanding” care in the trust’s community inpatient services, safety in the provider’s urgent care service was rated “inadequate”.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “We were concerned about safety in the urgent care service provided by the minor injuries units. 

“We were not assured that people were adequately protected from the risk of harm, and we were not convinced that this had been addressed adequately yet by the trust board.” 

Inspectors found that some patients waited too long to be assessed by a registered nurse on arrival at minor injuries and illness units. Unregistered practitioners were undertaking this task without adequate training or supervision. 

community nurse with patient

Inspectors said there was a ‘strong caring culture’ at the trust but that some staff teams were overstretched

Resuscitation trollies and other equipment were not always appropriately checked, their report said.

However, the trust was rated “good” for the level of caring showed by its staff to patients.

Inspectors said they found a “strong caring culture” embedded throughout the trust’s community hospitals.

Staff provided compassionate care that was respectful to people’s needs and wishes, they said.

Sir Mike added: “Throughout [the trust] we found that the care offered by staff was kind and compassionate and promoted people’s privacy and dignity.

“Staff spoke with passion about their work and were proud of what they did.

“However… some of the community teams were overstretched because there were not enough experienced nurses or therapists, with long waiting lists for some of these services.

“While there are many good services, we have also been very clear about those areas for improvement, which I expect the trust to address as a priority.”