The trust that runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital has been told it needs to improve, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
CQC inspections were carried at Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford and Rutland hospitals, which are all managed by the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT), between July and September 2019.
As a result, the trust was rated Requires Improvement overall. Its previous overall rating was also Requires Improvement, following an inspection in 2018. In addition to its overall rating, NWAFT is rated Requires Improvement for whether its services are safe, effective, responsive and well-led. It is rated Good for whether its services are caring.
Professor Ted Baker, CQC chief inspector of hospitals, said: "Inspectors found some good and outstanding practice at the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, but they also saw areas where services had deteriorated.
"Peterborough City Hospital's critical care unit lacked leadership and strategy. It did not have enough medical staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience. The hospital's maternity leaders did not understand and manage all issues their service faced. In urgent and emergency care, people could access services when they needed, but were not always treated within target times.
"Stamford and Rutland Hospital's minor injuries unit was not offering the quality of care and treatment we previously saw. Not all staff were compliant with mandatory training or knowledgeable about isolation procedures for infectious patients."
At Hinchingbrooke, inspectors identified issues with supporting children and their families when moving from children's healthcare to adult services.
The trust has been told it must make improvements, including:
- Ensuring it has enough suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff.
- Using effective governance processes, supporting identification and escalation of risks.
- Storing medicines safely.
- Maintaining clear up-to-date patient records, including resuscitation information in end-of-life care.
- Following isolation procedures when treating infectious patients.
- Admitting patients within four hours of the decision to admit to critical care at Peterborough City Hospital. Performance must be monitored and there must be clear plans to improve capacity and flow, so patients do not stay on the unit longer than required.
The report also highlighted areas of good practice and said: "Across the trust, staff treated people with kindness and respect. They took account of individual's needs and provided emotional support".
It also singled out diagnostic imaging at Peterborough City Hospital which was rated Outstanding for being well-led, facilitating positive patient outcomes. The hospital's surgery, outpatients and services for children and young people were providing good services to patients. Medical care, surgery and outpatients at Stamford and Rutland Hospital were rated Good; they were well planned, and people did not wait too long for treatment.
The CQC has reported its findings to the trust and will be carrying out further inspections to monitor the improvements.
Caroline Walker, chief executive for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, said: "While we know the outcome of this report as Requires Improvement is disappointing for our board and for many of our staff, we will use this as a good source of information to progress our continuous improvement.
"Our staff have been and continue to work incredibly hard under a huge amount of pressure to maintain a high standard of care for our patients and this is reflected in the areas rated as Good and Outstanding and is something that we should celebrate. We will also continue to stage our own internal quality assessments as part of our ongoing commitment to quality of care and wish to congratulate all of those areas who have achieved an outstanding award as a result of this. "We would like to reassure and assure our patients that we are committed to continuing to
focus on the areas that need further support and have already taken action on the areas where concerns have been raised."