[S]taff across the hospitals run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) give ‘Outstanding’ care to local people, according to the Hospital Inspection Report published today (Thursday 9 February) by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Giving the Trust an overall rating of ‘Good’ – the second highest rating available – inspectors found that the Trust had made significant progress across most services since its last Inspection in July 2015, particularly in maternity and gynaecology and end of life services. Inspectors also noted improvements in culture and engagement, staffing levels, strategy and plans for the future, leadership, governance and risk management, and a more positive approach to inclusion and diversity.
The CQC visited Furness General Hospital (FGH), the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) and Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) during October 2016. As part of the Inspection, inspectors spent time talking to staff, patients, stakeholders and the general public about their experiences of working at, and being cared for by staff at the Trust, and observing staff at work.
Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, UHMBT, said: “The outcome of our CQC inspection is terrific news for staff, our partners in the Bay, and most importantly for the patients and the people who use our services.
“An overall rating of ‘Good’ and in particular, an ‘Outstanding’ rating for caring is absolutely fantastic. This means we have continuously improved over three successive hospital inspections over the last three years moving from ‘Inadequate’ and in special measures to today’s rating of ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ for caring. It also means we are among the top rated NHS hospitals in the country.
“As a Trust Board, we are extremely proud of what our staff have achieved. Every single day, they have worked with energy, commitment and determination to improve, and it is because of them and the involvement of our partners and the local communities, that we have achieved such a fantastic improved rating.”
There were examples of outstanding practice found at the Trust, including:
- The Listening into Action programme which is focused on empowering staff to lead on making positive changes. Inspectors reported that this programme had led to significant quality improvements for patients and the Trust
- The public engagement initiatives within maternity services, including the co-design of the new Maternity Unit at FGH, including members of the public on interview panels for new midwives and matrons, and the development of guidelines and strategies
- The bereavement team, chaplaincy and specialist palliative care team who work together to promote compassionate care at the end of life. This included things such as the development of death cafes, the use of the dragonfly symbol so staff knew that the person had been recently bereaved, the forget-me-not seeds that are sent to family members following the death of a loved one, and the opportunity for families to get casts of their loved one’s hands
- The electronic information that is available between the Trust and community services and GPs – meaning hospital staff could access up-to-date information about patients, such as details of their current medicine
Pearse Butler, Chair, UHMBT, said: “Today’s announcement is important for our patients and the people who live in the Bay, and has been greatly welcomed by our staff. This is a remarkable achievement, and we all feel enormously proud to work with such committed and talented staff across our hospitals.
“It is incredibly powerful to hear that the feedback the inspectors received from patients and their families about their care was consistently positive and that some staff went the extra mile to care for them. We believe that this truly reflects the work that staff across the Trust have done to change our culture and focus on patient safety and quality of care.”
The CQC has also identified areas for further improvements. These include:
- Monitoring performance data to ensure that 95% of patients who attend the Trust’s Emergency Departments are admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arrival
- Ensuring that patients do not wait longer standard for assessment and treatment in the Trust’s Emergency Departments
- Ensuring there are sufficient nursing staff to comply with the relevant guidance within the Trust’s Children and Young People services
Jackie Daniel continued: “These last three years has seen a tremendous turnaround for our Trust but we aren’t there yet. Our staff know what ‘Outstanding’ is, and we are committed to doing all we can to continue to improve so we can be sure we are offering the highest standards of care to the people of Morecambe Bay.
“On behalf of the Trust, I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to our staff, patients, governors, volunteers, partners, and the local communities for their continued support.”
Dr Alex Gaw, Clinical Chair, Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I would like to pay tribute to all of our colleagues in the Trust. They have shown an incredible resolve to improve the quality of local hospital services over the past three years. At the same time, the Trust has worked really hard to build strong, trusting relationships with all of its partners in the wider NHS community. My colleagues and I look forward to continuing this important work across Morecambe Bay.”
The full Inspection reports for the Trust can be found on the CQC website at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RTX.