• Analysis of NHS staff survey focusing on perceptions of quality and safety, and workforce stability
  • Performance tallies well with CQC ratings
  • Indicates which trusts are in the strongest and most difficult positions

The trusts which are likely to face the fiercest struggle to deliver quality care in the immediate future have been identified through an analysis carried out exclusively for HSJ.

Analyst company Listening into Action has taken data from the NHS Staff Survey 2019 to produce “a set of ‘workforce at risk’ numbers that point to the likelihood (or not) of workforce stability and continuity challenges adversely affecting the care a trust’s key assets are able to deliver in the year ahead”.

The analysis shows a strong correlation between staffs’ perceptions of how well they are supported, and care quality — and therefore reveals which trusts face the toughest challenge to improve performance.

Acute trusts whose position appears particularly weak include:

  • North Cumbria University;
  • United Lincolnshire;
  • South Tees;
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn;
  • Walsall Healthcare;
  • Northern Lincolnshire and Goole;
  • James Paget;
  • Southport and Ormskirk;
  • Shrewsbury and Telford;
  • The Dudley Group; and
  • East Suffolk and North Essex.

Eight of these trusts are rated “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission and two have “inadequate” ratings. However, James Paget currently has a “good” rating.

Five of the trusts are located in four sustainability and transformation partnerships running up the eastern coast of England, two are in the North East and Cumbria integrated care system, and another three are in two STPs between Birmingham and the Welsh border.

Acute trusts which appear in the strongest position to provide high quality care include Northumbria Healthcare — a standout performer — plus Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch; St Helens & Knowsley; Northern Devon; Surrey and Sussex; Guy’s and St Thomas’; East Lancashire and Yeovil District.

All of these trusts are rated “good” or “outstanding”, apart from Northern Devon which has a “requires improvement” rating.

Notable acute trusts which appear in the bottom quadrant of the analysis include University Hospitals Birmingham — which is outperformed by all other members of the Shelford Group of major teaching trusts — as well as the “good” rated North Bristol and Torbay and South Devon trusts.

West Suffolk, which was recently downgraded from “outstanding” to “requires improvement” amid allegations of bullying and cover-ups performs well in this analysis.

Broadly the analysis confirms the widespread impression that the different sectors of NHS providers face challenges of a different scale: All 10 ambulance trusts appear in the bottom quadrant of performers.

The “outstanding” rated Royal Papworth is the only specialist trust to appear outside the top quadrant, while only five standalone community trusts do not make the top grade.

The performance of mental health trusts is much more varied, particularly in those which also provide physical community health services as well.


Revealed: The trusts which will struggle most to deliver quality care in 2020