Two acute trusts have been rated as “requires improvement” following inspections by the Care Quality Commission.
North West London Hospitals Trust and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust received the ratings under the Care Quality Commission’s new inspection regime and were issued with “compliance actions” requiring them to raise their game.
At North West London the CQC found staff shortages were impacting care in some parts of the trust, including accident and emergency.
It rated the responsiveness of maternity services as “inadequate” because women could not always summon the assistance they required, and said the environment and equipment in paediatric services needed to be improved.
Critical care at Northwick Park Hospital was rated inadequate. Auditing in the area was “poorly complied with”, meaning the department could not compare itself against other providers to measure its effectiveness. Furthermore the trust’s senior management were “unaware” of the issues within the department.
However the regulator did find that staff were caring and highlighted areas of “outstanding practice” in the stroke unit and in the trust’s short term assessment, rehabilitation and re-enablement service for frail elderly people.
North West London chief executive David McVittie said the CQC’s report was a “fair reflection” of the trust.
He said that work was underway to improve maternity services and that A&E care would be enhanced through a planned centralisation of services.
At Alder Hey the CQC found wards were not always sufficiently staffed and a lack of senior doctors on the high dependency unit.
It found that nurses were not following the trust’s policy regarding the safe administration of medicines and also identified “shortfalls” in its governance and risk management systems.
However it rated the hospital’s palliative and end of life services as “outstanding” and said that staff were “hard working, caring and compassionate” and “committed to providing children and young people with a service that met all their needs”.
It also noted that patients and carers were treated “sensitively and compassionately and supported emotionally and psychologically to cope with difficult and highly stressful situations”.
Rick Turnock, Alder Hey’s acting medical director, said the trust was “developing an action plan in response to all of the recommendations within the CQC report”.
He added: “We cannot do this alone and our aim is to work closely with out commissioners and partners to improve all aspects of our service.”
20 August 2014