Care Quality Commission latest inspection report

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published on 14 November reports of inspections it undertook of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, and Royal Preston Hospital.

The CQC undertook announced inspections of the hospitals in July 2014.  The CQC’s reports and judgements are based on a combination of what it found during the inspection, information from its Intelligent Monitoring system, and information provided by patients, the public and other organisations.

The CQC rated the trust as ‘good’ for having caring services, ‘good’ for having effective services, ‘good’ for being well-led, and noted many areas of outstanding practice and innovation.  The CQC rated the trust as ‘requiring improvement’ for providing safe services and responsive, services. 

The CQC has given an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’.

Karen Partington, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said, “Overall the CQC inspection reports are very positive about the way our hospitals are run, and the quality of care we provide.  The reports identify a great many areas of good and outstanding practice, and, most importantly, note that our staff are caring, compassionate and competent.”

The CQC found that the trust’s ‘nursing staff were caring and compassionate and treated people with dignity and respect,’ and that the ‘hospital was staffed by highly skilled, competent and well-supervised doctors.’ The CQC also found that mortality rates are within expected ranges, incidents are well-managed, patients are well-nourished and hydrated, the hospitals are clean and well maintained, and medicines are managed and prescribed safely.

The reports note that the Emergency Department, dementia care, clinical innovation, alcohol liaison service, speech and language therapies for neonatal babies, end of life care, and use of pain relief is ‘outstanding practice.’

Karen said, “The CQC is very clear that the main reason that we have been judged as ‘requiring improvement’ is that the hospitals have been exceptionally busy for a sustained period.  Despite doing everything we possibly can to deliver the highest standards of care, when we are continuously caring for many more patients than we’re set up to look after, it is inevitable patient experience and timely access to treatment will be affected.” 

Dr Gora Bangi, commenting on behalf of Chorley and South Ribble, and Greater Preston clinical commissioning groups said: “We have been working closely with a number of key stakeholders, partners and other NHS organisations and local authorities to deliver real improvements to services. 

We have prioritised increasing patients’ access to alternatives to hospital with initiatives such as extending GP surgery opening hours, the development of Integrated Neighbourhood Teams and generally supporting people with long term conditions to help them remain at home.  In addition to these, we are developing a GP advice and support scheme in partnership with the North West Ambulance Service.

We also support health initiatives and campaigns which help people to stay well and out of hospital, for example promoting flu immunisation and, particularly in the run up to the festive season, alcohol awareness campaigns and initiatives.  

We hope that these actions will alleviate pressure on the hospitals in the immediate and longer term, and ultimately deliver a better service for local people.” 

Karen said, “Within the hospitals we are also making a range of other improvements. Last year we invested £2.2m in establishing 120 additional nursing posts, and recruitment is now well underway.  We are introducing a range of measures to support ward staff whilst this recruitment is ongoing. 

“We are improving how outpatient clinics are managed and are in the process of introducing a new system that will reduce delays and cancellations. 

“We are providing different ways of delivering training will make it easier for staff to access development opportunities, and have improved how we monitor compliance. 

“New arrangements have been introduced to ensure patients are cared for by the right clinical teams, in the most appropriate setting, when the hospitals are very busy.

“We are absolutely committed to working with our partner agencies to improve the local health and social care system, and to making any changes necessary within our hospitals to make sure every single patient always receives excellent care with compassion.”

Inspection details

The CQC carried out an announced inspection at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital between 10 and 11 July 2014.

The CQC carried out an announced inspection at Royal Preston Hospital between 9 and 11 July, and an unannounced inspection between 6pm and 8pm on 21 July 2014. 

CQC report for Royal Preston Hospital

CQC report for Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

CQC report for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust