The James Paget University Hospital has achieved a ‘Good’ rating for the quality of care it provides for patients, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care services in England and carries out regular inspections of hospitals and other care providers to ensure they are meeting fundamental standards of quality and safety.
A team of inspectors visited the hospital in July this year as part of their ongoing national inspection programme.
They inspected three clinical areas – medical care, maternity and end of life care – and assessed whether services were safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.
As a result of their inspection, the inspectors concluded that the JPUH should retain its overall grade of ‘Good’ - the third time it has been awarded such a grading in as many inspections.
Trust Chief Executive Christine Allen said: “This is a tremendous achievement and once again underlines how dedicated our fantastic staff are to the care of their patients.
“It is all the more impressive bearing in mind the challenges that the NHS has faced both locally and nationally over the last year, with huge increases in demand and pressure on bed capacity exacerbated by extreme winter weather and a long, hot summer.
“Throughout the report, there are references to the compassion, dignity and kindness shown to patients by staff across the hospital - and I remain extremely proud of everyone who has helped us maintain our position as a ‘Good’ hospital."
Among the key findings in the report were:
- Medical care was rated as ‘good.’ Inspectors found that staff were proud of team working across services and ‘cared for people with dignity, respect and kindness.’ They also noted that patient feedback was consistently positive around care, including emotional support and involvement of patients and their families in decision making – and that staff were open and transparent, collaborative and aware of their responsibilities.
- Maternity – inspected by itself for the first time after previous inspections involved a joint assessment with gynaecology – was rated as ‘good.’ The service was rated as ‘outstanding’ for being responsive, with inspectors noting that doctors, midwives and other healthcare professionals, worked together efficiently as a team to benefit all women. They found that the Trust planned and provided services in a way that met the needs of local people, including ‘hard to reach groups’ and those with learning difficulties, mental health issues and where there were safeguarding concerns. ‘Staff cared for patients with compassion. Feedback from patients confirmed that staff cared for them well and treated them with kindness,’ they added.
- End of Life Care was rated as ‘requires improvement.’ Inspectors found that the service did not hit training compliance targets, in some cases plans of care paperwork had not been completed. Access to the specialist palliative care team is through an on call service only out of hours and weekends and was not 24/7. However, the service retained its ‘outstanding’ grade for the caring element, with inspectors stating that ‘on all the wards we visited, staff displayed a culture of compassion and positivity and had a genuine desire to want to provide the best possible care to patients at the end of life.’
“The report provides us with a useful indicator of where we have made improvements for our patients – and I am really pleased that we have increased the number of ‘outstanding’ grades for individual service areas from two to three,” said Ms Allen.
“However, there are areas where we need to improve and the report is useful in showing us where we need to focus our efforts. As an organisation committed to continuous improvement – and with a proud track record in innovation and going the extra mile for our patients – I am confident we will further enhance our service in the months ahead.”
Already, work has started on action plans to improve elements of service highlighted by the inspectors, including:
- Reviewing our provision of mandatory training. The report highlights how our staff have the required knowledge to provide quality care for our patients but we need to give them more opportunities to achieve compliance.
- We are currently working with our healthcare partners to review provision of specialist palliative care in Great Yarmouth and Waveney – and, within our Trust, are the first acute hospital in the region to be introducing a nationally-recognised package of training for all levels of frontline staff so they can provide the ‘Gold Standard Framework’ of care for patients nearing the end of life.
- We have now fully embedded a new national tool, which was being introduced as we were being inspected, which ensures timely escalation of deteriorating patients.
The release of the CQC’s latest inspection report comes at the end of a year which has seen significant developments at the JPUH.
Improvements have included the creation of new facilities for the Trust’s operations centre and multi-agency discharge hub. This focuses on reducing delays in getting patients home from hospital.
Last week saw the official opening of an enhanced Ambulatory Care Unit, which aims to improve the efficiency of patient care by reducing time spent in hospital and preventing admissions.
Improvements have also been made to the hospital’s catering facilities including the creation of a new-look restaurant and opening of an M&S Food to Go outlet.
The image below shows our ratings and you can read the full report by clicking here.