Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust welcomes a new report highlighting the need to reduce pressure on urgent and emergency care services across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its findings today (Friday 22 July) following a series of coordinated inspections which took place throughout March and April 2022.
The CQC carried out more than 30 individual inspections across a range of health and social care services in the area, including at Royal Preston Hospital.
Inspections were also carried out at neighbouring hospital trusts, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust including NHS 111 and 999, mental health teams employed by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, some local GP surgeries and GP out of hours services and adult social care services.
CQC network director Ann Ford said: “During our inspections throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria, we found increasing demand on urgent care services. Although feedback was mostly positive about these services, patients were attending urgent care instead of accessing their GP.
“Although work was being carried out with local communities to find out why this was happening, more needs to be done to deliver system-wide solutions to ensure people consistently receive high-quality, timely care and treatment in the right service.”
Alongside the system report, inspectors also provided a report detailing their findings from Royal Preston Hospital.
Overall, the Urgent and Emergency Services at Royal Preston Hospital remains ‘requires improvement’, with inspectors providing a ‘good’ rating for being effective, caring and well led.
Whilst medical services at Royal Preston Hospital were also inspected, no overall rating was given.
The report highlights a number of areas of good practice in both the Emergency Department and across the medical division, recognising several improvements and positive changes the Trust has made to drive our safety and improvement culture while acknowledging various challenges including shortages of nursing and medical staff, bed pressures and flow. Inspectors also highlighted further work was needed with infection prevention and control practices, and oxygen prescribing.
Despite the challenges, it was pleasing to see that the efforts of staff, who have been working in unprecedented circumstances, have been recognised by the CQC. Inspectors noted that staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity and took account of their individual needs.
Kevin McGee, chief executive for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and speaking on behalf of NHS Trusts in Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “The CQC’s reports for the wider system and individual NHS Trusts highlight some of the excellent partnership work that we do as well as ongoing challenges across the region.
“The reports are very timely, coming soon after the formation of Lancashire and South Cumbria’s Integrated Care Board. Working collaboratively across the region will be key to addressing the challenges and areas for improvement which the reports have highlighted, including demand for emergency and urgent care, staffing, and patient flow.
“As ever, I would like to pay tribute to NHS colleagues throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria who continue to do incredible work on a daily basis.”
A full copy of the report will be made downloadable from the CQC website here