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Hospital achieves fourth consecutive CQC 'Good' rating

17 December 2019


The James Paget University Hospital has achieved a ‘Good’ grading from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the 4th consecutive time and continues to improve its services for patients.

CQC 2019

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.

It rates service providers as either ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires Improvement’ or ‘Inadequate.’

The CQC’s latest inspection report sees the hospital again being rated as ‘Good’, having previously achieved the rating following inspections in 2015, 2016 and 2018. 

This year, CQC inspectors visited six core services of Urgent and Emergency Care, Surgery, Critical Care, Services for Children and Young People, End of Life Care and Outpatients on 3, 4 and 12 September. The inspection was carried out at both the main hospital site as well as the Newberry Clinic in Gorleston.

The services were scrutinised against the CQC’s five key criteria of Safe; Effective; Caring; Responsive - and Well-led, which was the subject of a separate CQC inspection on 1 and 2 October.

All services inspected were rated as good overall, including End of Life Care which was previously rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ after the hospital’s CQC inspection in 2018.

Inspectors also gave the James Paget its first overall grade of ‘Outstanding’ for the category of ‘Responsive’ after being particularly impressed with the way in which staff in Outpatients and Services for Children and Young People ensured that care was tailored to patient needs.

The results of the inspection mean that the CQC continues to rate the hospital overall as Good.

Chief Executive Anna Hills said: “This is fantastic news for our patients, staff and healthcare partners.

“Achieving a ‘Good’ rating for the 4th time against a backdrop of ever increasing patient demand is a great achievement – and, importantly, the inspectors’ report shows that we have further improved our services since they last inspected the hospital.

“For the first time, we have been given an ‘Outstanding’ grade overall for one of the CQC’s five key categories – Responsive - which demonstrates how our staff are really focussed on delivering care that is tailored to the needs of our patients and communities.

“Not only that, but in every area inspected against the five key criteria, we achieved either a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ rating. This is a remarkable achievement, which reflects the dedication and commitment of our staff, who once again have shown that they go the extra mile for their patients – and I would like to thank them for all their hard work.

“The results of this inspection give us a firm platform to continue developing our services for our patients, working closely with our healthcare partners across Norfolk and Waveney, with the aspiration of becoming an ‘outstanding’ hospital.”


Highlights of the report include:


Our services were rated as ‘Outstanding’ for Responsive, with inspectors finding that services were planned and care was provided in a way that met the needs of local people and the communities served. Inspectors found that services took account of patients’ individual needs and preferences and that staff supported patients to access health care within the community and liaised with other agencies to work in partnership to improve patient care. 


The inspection team found examples of outstanding practice in Urgent and Emergency Care, End of Life Care and Services for Children and Young People. These included the development of a new IT system – Wardboard – to monitor bed capacity and patient movement throughout the hospital; staff combining multiple appointments where appropriate to minimise worry and disruption for young patients and their families; and staff from departments across the Trust arranging a wedding ceremony in the hospital for a dying patient.


Inspectors noted patient-focussed care across all the services they inspected. For example, during their inspection of our services for children and young people, they saw that “staff provided emotional support to children, young people and their families and carers to minimise their distress. They understood children and young people’s personal, cultural and religious needs.”

They also reported a ‘culture of high quality sustainable care’ and that ‘staff felt supported, respected and valued.”


The inspection means that the CQC’s table of ratings for the James Paget shows that there are only three out of 53 areas not rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’: under the category of Safe, both Medical Care and Maternity remain at ‘Requires Improvement’ with neither inspected this year. This means that the overall rating for Safe remains at ‘Requires Improvement’, although actions have been completed to address the issues raised last year.

Inspectors found no breaches of any legal requirements or elements of care in need of urgent attention. However they did highlight areas where the Trust should make improvements including recruitment, dealing with complaints, equipment checks and medicine and patient record storage. Action has already been taken and a full review of all the comments will enable us to identify where further improvements can be made. 

In a separate assessment held on 17 September, the Trust was scrutinised by NHSE/I for its Use of Resources. For this, the Trust was also rated “Good” after previously receiving a “Requires Improvement” rating.  

The assessment team found that the Trust had improved its financial positon by reducing its deficit – and was on track to achieve a surplus, with additional funding received for meeting its plan, by the end of 2019/20. It had also demonstrated achieving further workforce and service productivity improvement, since the last assessment.