PERFORMANCE: The high profile specialist provider Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust has been given a “requires improvement” rating by the Care Quality Commission.

The regulator rated the trust as “requires improvement” in a report issued this morning, following an inspection in June.

Although the specialist heart and lung trust was given “good” ratings in the effective, caring and well-led categories it received the “requires improvement” rating in the safe and responsive categories.

The report noted very good clinical outcomes for patients but said there was “poor” completion of the World Health Organisation surgical checklist and that visitors were not reminded clearly enough to use antibacterial hand sanitiser.

The CQC said inspectors saw evidence of excellent outcomes for transplants, heart failure and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation but found that the trust had only just started reporting critical care outcomes data, making comparison with other units impossible on this measure.

The chief inspector of hospitals professor Sir Mike Richards said: ”We found patients received compassionate care by staff who spoke about their trust with passion and pride. There are many people who owe their lives to the dedication and expertise of their staff.

“However there are areas for improvement. I note that critical care services have not in the past submitted data for national audit – which means that it has been difficult to compare the trust’s quality of care with other hospitals.”

The Royal Brompton is one of the trusts that faces losing congenital heart disease services under criteria drawn up by NHS England. 

Chief executive Bob Bell said in a statement: “We appreciate that there are areas where we need to improve. We know what they are, have already made progress with some of them and are developing robust action plans for others. We are confident that within a short timeframe significant improvements are possible and we will be reporting our progress to our board on a regular basis.”