Continuing improvement, a positive culture and innovative ideas have led to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust coming out of special measures following its latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC, which inspected Walsall Manor Hospital and its community services in February this year, will publish its report today www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RBK (Thursday 25 July 2019). It has rated care as “Outstanding” across the trust and has highlighted a number of areas of outstanding practice in both the hospital and community.
While the trust has been rated as “Requires Improvement” overall, there has been significant progress made since it was rated Inadequate in 2016 and Requires Improvement in 2017.
The 2019 assessment followed the CQC’s new inspection regime; examining whether the trust is well-led and looking at its use of resources.
“…our ambition is to become a trust that is rated outstanding overall by 2022 and together we’re confident of achieving this.” Richard Beeken, Chief Executive
Richard Beeken, Chief Executive, said: “Today is an incredibly proud day for all of us at Walsall Healthcare because the effort, commitment and pride that our staff have demonstrated throughout three CQC inspections in as many years has obviously made a huge impact.
“They should take the majority of the credit for the trust being able to come out of special measures as they have driven the changes that have shown the CQC that we deliver safe, high-quality care and that patients in Walsall can have confidence in the services we provide. We know that we’re on an improvement journey and that there is still work to do, but our ambition is to become a trust that is rated outstanding overall by 2022 and together we’re confident of achieving this.”
Karen Dunderdale, Director of Nursing at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, added: “I am so proud of our dedicated, compassionate staff whose commitment has earned our trust a rating of outstanding for the care delivered to people of all ages in the hospital and community.
“We can have a host of improvement plans to try and fix issues but care is something that can’t be captured in a table or on a list – it has to come from the heart. This rating gives the best assurance possible to our patients and their families and I feel privileged to be part of a trust that delivers outstanding care. I’d like to thank our staff for all that they do, day in and day out.”
The report highlights several areas of “outstanding practice”…
Professor Stephen Powis, National NHS Medical Director, said: “We have accepted the CQC’s recommendation to remove Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust from quality special measures. This decision reflects the improvements that have been made and sustained by the trust since its previous inspection, particularly in maternity and urgent and emergency services.
“This has been a long journey for Walsall Healthcare and staff can be rightly proud of their achievements to date and their strong desire to improve. There is of course more work still to do to ensure that patient services are the very best they can be and we will continue to work closely with the trust to ensure that further improvements are made and sustained.”
The report highlights several areas of “outstanding practice” which include:
- The new Advanced Clinical Practitioner role to improve patient target times for triage and treatment
- The award-winning initiative to improve patient care for frequent Emergency Department attendees
- The introduction of “What Matters To Me” boards for elderly patients and those living with dementia
- The introduction of communication clinics for relatives
- The CASH (Contraception And Sexual Health) team providing an exemplary programme of sex and relationship education to young people
Inspectors also noted the promotion of a positive culture across the trust with staff feeling supported and valued and a “significant improvement” in their sense of pride in representing the organisation.
The CQC detailed the areas which need to improve including ensuring staffing levels are safe and reduce the risk of patient harm, greater engagement with patients and better monitoring of infection risk.
Under the well-led domain, while stating that leaders were well engaged with external partnerships to secure experiences and quality across health and care, inspectors noted that staff below director level could do more to ensure accountability and the flow of information.
The trust also got a long way to go in making the most effective use of its estate and staff and will be picking this up through its improvement programme, which has been developed with staff, to focus on the trust’s vision of achieving an Outstanding CQC rating by 2022.