• Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust is rated good overall by CQC inspectors
  • An outstanding rating was given for the caring domain
  • Leaders at the trust were found to be highly visible and all staff were focussed on constant improvement

An NHS trust in the Midlands which spent more than two years in special measures has now been rated outstanding for caring and good overall by the Care Quality Commission.

Following an inspection at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust in April this year, the CQC rated the care provided by staff to be outstanding. It also rated whether services were responsive, effective and well-led as good with safety said to be requires improvement.

Ten out of the trust’s services were rated as good overall by the inspectors, an improvement from the requires improvement rating given in 2016. The trust had previously spent 27 months in special measures.

The regulator found that the trust’s well-led rating improved because all leaders at the trust were “highly visible and approachable” and all staff were aware of the trust’s vision and values and were focussed on “constant improvement”.

The outstanding rating for caring was given because of the feedback from patients about the way staff treatment them. The caring at Mansfield Community Hospital and the maternity service at King’s Mill Hospital were also rated outstanding.

The CQC did highlight areas for improvement, which included:

  • Ensuring security staff working in the emergency department receive training to understand mental health issues;
  • Making sure emergency medicine consultants are aware of who has the role as the guardian of safe working hours;
  • Access to patients requiring MRI scans is improved.

Richard Mitchell, chief executive, said: “I believe we are making progress and the CQC report is another indicator of this, but there is lots more we need to do to ensure all staff and patients feel included.”

He added although the trust is disappointed its safe rating is still requires improvement he is “confident” that it will change in the trust’s 2019 inspection.

The CQC said the requires improvement rating for the safe domain was affected by services not inspected this time. However, it found all of the ten core services inspected were rated good for safe.

Ted Baker, CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said the trust has come a long way since it was last inspected.

Professor Baker said: “Staff morale was consistently high throughout this inspection and there were several areas of outstanding practice across services.”

“The senior leadership team was stable and has worked hard since the last inspection to ensure trust wide improvements were embedded,” he said.

“We were particularly impressed by the improvements made within the emergency and outpatients services. A new system had been introduced in A&E to ensure patients were monitored effectively when waiting longer than four hours,” Professor Baker said.