Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust’s bid for foundation status has been further delayed, following a Care Quality Commission inspection which found the trust “required improvement”.

Following an inspection of acute services at the trust’s Treliske Hospital in Truro, the CQC said that the trust’s safety, quality of its surgical treatment and organisational responsiveness needed improvement.

The CQC inspection team found that while overall outcomes for patients were good, there were areas of concern.

The regulator’s report states: “Some patient notes were not accurate or complete, which could mean that their care was not well-enough understood to be as effective as it should be.“

Inspectors found that staff working in accident and emergency and medical and surgical wards at the hospital felt under pressure at times. Inspectors acknowledged that this issue had been recognised and the trust was continuing to actively recruit staff.

The inspection took place because of the CQC considered the trust to be a medium-risk level service under its intelligent monitoring model, based on data, and because the organisation is an aspirant foundation trust.

Monitor said the trust would need to address the unsatisfactory inspection areas found by the CQC before its foundation trust application could advance.

A CQC spokesman was unable to say when the trust would next be inspected.

Lezli Boswell, chief executive of RCHT said: “This is a welcome report from the Care Quality Commission and confirms our recent improvement.

“We are pleased that the care and compassion of our staff has been recognised, including the excellent comments on care for patients with learning disabilities and those at the end of their life. There is a strong sense in the report of an improving organisation, good leadership and a dedicated and caring workforce.

“We recognise of course that there is more to do particularly on the digitisation of patient records, continuing investment in modern technology and equipment and most of all on patient flow so that care is provided in the right setting. It comes as no surprise that the report highlights the intense pressure on our services and the need to transform the health and social care system.”

“We will work together with our partners to ensure we can provide the very best care and health outcomes for the local community.”