Goole hospital has been rated ‘good’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
All the services inspected at Goole hospital received the ‘good’ rating, whilst Scunthorpe General Hospital received a rating of ‘inadequate’. Grimsby hospital is rated as ‘requires improvement’ and overall services provided by Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust were found to ‘require improvement.’
Among a number of issues recommended for improvement the report highlighted: a backlog of outpatient follow-up appointments, staffing levels, risks to safety of patients with mental health conditions, lack of standardised procedures for managing controlled drugs in patients’ homes and a delay in changes to the SGH emergency centre facilities.
The Trust’s community services were also inspected and received an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’. The report follows an inspection that took place of some of the services provided by the Trust in October 2015.
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust says it has already taken ‘significant’ steps to address the issues identified in the report.
Karen Jackson, Trust chief executive said: “We are extremely disappointed in the overall rating for Scunthorpe hospital. This is not a reflection of the overall quality of care at the hospital but is in the main attributable to two issues – a backlog of outpatient follow-up appointments that developed during 2015, and a delay in making some physical changes to the SGH emergency centre facilities that the CQC had previously recommended.
“This is a report into an inspection that took place nearly six months ago. The CQC’s own standards recommend such reports are published within 50 working days of the inspection so that the reports are as current and useful as possible to service providers and patients. As our patients and staff would expect, the Trust has already taken significant steps to address the issues identified at the inspections, some of which took place as long ago as October 2015.
“In addition, we were already aware of the outpatients issue and were in the process of rectifying it before the CQC’s visit, and the actions we had agreed to take by the end of December 2015 were completed. Work to strengthen our patient administration systems and processes is continuing. The emergency centre alterations did not take place because other clinical needs were prioritised, including work on our critical care and endoscopy departments.
“Current limited financial resources mean we, like other NHS organisations, face difficult choices in terms of spending. We have completed phase one of an upgrade the Scunthorpe emergency centre and phase two, which includes the alterations requested by the CQC, is underway. I continue to believe that we made the right decision.”
Medical director Mr Lawrence Roberts said: “The issue of staffing levels is raised in the reports. These are monitored very closely and, in common with other NHS organisations, we necessarily use agency, bank and locum staff to fill gaps in rotas.
“Vacancies for doctors and nurses are a major issue for most hospitals, with recruitment remaining a challenge across the country. We have recruited 236 doctors and 107 nursing staff during 2015, and will continue to focus on recruiting more both within the UK and overseas.
“Of course we want to reduce our reliance on agency staff and we are making progress in doing so. For example, we are introducing a number of retention schemes to keep the staff we already have and to encourage more nurses to join our ‘bank’ or work additional shifts as a bank nurse. However, it remains the case that in common with other trusts and without changes to nationally determined training and staffing arrangements that we aren’t in control of, we will continue to need to rely on agency staff to maintain safe services for the foreseeable future.”
Dr James Whittingham, Trust chairman, said: “I share the chief executive’s disappointment about the CQC’s rating of Scunthorpe hospital. The Trust raised a total of 423 points of factual accuracy on the CQC’s draft inspection reports. In addition, a number of aspects of the inspection have given us cause for concern and we have raised these concerns with the CQC throughout the process. However, at the same time it is really good to see recognition of the progress made by our staff at Grimsby, Goole and Scunthorpe and in the community.
“There will always be room for improvement but patients can be assured they will be well cared for in all our hospitals. I am also disappointed about the delay in publication of the report, which is unhelpful, but nonetheless wish to assure staff and the public that we cannot and will not be complacent. We are actively addressing every CQC recommendation for improvement as quickly as possible.
Good news for Goole
“Our main message to staff is to take pride in the many ‘good’ ratings we have received. These include the ‘caring’ domain and all elements of maternity services across the Trust, most of our community services, and all the inspected services at Goole. This is a very well deserved reflection of the quality of care and compassion shown by our staff.”
The Trust received a ‘good’ rating for the ‘caring’ domain across all its hospitals, a clean sweep of ‘good’ results in all domains for community dental services and an overall ‘good’ for all its maternity services.
The CQC also identified a number of areas of outstanding and innovative practice which lead the way in delivering high quality care to patients, including: dental services, the development of a pressure sore assessment tool and a ‘frail elderly assessment and support team’.
Mrs Jackson added: “The inspectors have commended improvements made since last year’s inspection as we continue our journey to ‘good’.
The CQC is publishing an overall quality report for the Trust and three individual reports for Goole, Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals on its website: http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/publications