Hospital chief hopes staff ‘not too disheartened’ with inspectors’ rating

Hinchingbrooke Hospital A&E

Hinchingbrooke Hospital A&E - Credit: Archant

The trust that manages Hinchingbrooke Hospital has been rated as ‘requiring improvement’ by hospital inspectors.

A team from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected all areas of the trust’s services at Hinchingbrooke including urgent and emergency care, medical care, surgery, critical care, maternity services, end of life care and outpatient services.

They also inspected urgent and emergency care and medicine at Peterborough City Hospital.

Concerns were raised about the amount of time patients were having to wait in emergency care at Hinchingbrooke.

The report also stated that the trust needed to take action to ensure medicines were stored, prescribed and administered appropriately.

The North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust was formed when Peterborough and Stamford NHS Foundation Trust acquired Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust on April 1 last year.

Inspectors said the hospital trust’s services were caring and responsive but said improvement was needed to ensure services were safe, effective and well-led.

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Professor Ted Baker said: “Inspectors found the trust needed to ensure that systems for overseeing mandatory training for staff, safeguarding and its assessment of risks to patients were sufficiently robust. Consistent and reliable systems and processes needed to be in place to ensure there was better sharing and learning from incidents particularly with regard to surgery.

“We have reported our findings to the trust leadership, which knows what it must do to bring about further improvements and ensure it maintains any already made.”

Responding to the report, Caroline Walker, chief executive at the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford Hospitals, said: “While being rated as ‘requires improvement’ by the CQC inspection team has come as a disappointment to our staff and to our board members, it is important that we reflect on it in the context that we are just 18 months post-merger.

“From feedback gained through other routes, we know we have come a long way in that time, but it is not possible to embed our recently-developed clinical strategy, nor new processes for the integration of cross-site teams in our service areas, within that timeframe.

“It’s important to note the report highlighted many areas of good practice, and I am also pleased to see an outstanding rating for the caring element of our end of life care service at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

“I hope our staff will not be too disheartened by the overall outcome. They have already been working hard on some key actions put in place to address some of the issues highlighted by inspectors back in June.

“If the inspection team were to make a return visit to our hospitals this week, I am confident they would see significant improvements since our June inspection.”