Patient care is safe and compassionate at Bridgewater Community Healthcare Trust, but there is still room for improvement in some areas, the Care Quality Commission has concluded.
It was one of the first community trusts to be checked under the regulator’s new inspection system.
The trust was found to provide safe and effective community health services, all of which were well-led with a clear focus on quality, according to the CQC’s report.
Patients were overwhelmingly positive about the quality of their care, while inspectors saw staff treating patients with compassion, dignity and respect.
The Patient Partner’s programme, through which a group of 150 patients work with the trust to help develop services across the community, was signalled out for special praise by the CQC inspection team.
However, some weaknesses in risk and quality reporting and action taken were noted following the identification of risks at Newton Community Hospital.
Areas for improvement included the need to develop more effective risk reporting mechanisms, as well as making sure that training is available to fully meet the needs of staff working within the trust’s inpatient facilities.
Ensuring staff are provided with clear information regarding the management of vacancies and recruitment to roles was also recommended by the CQC.
“Overall, we found services provided by Bridgewater Community Healthcare Trust were safe, although there is need to improve systems for sharing learning from incidents across the trust as a whole,” said Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals.
“Most of the patients and carers we met described staff as caring and compassionate and felt that services were responsive to people’s needs. We noticed that staff worked well in multidisciplinary teams across organisations to provide support to patients in the community,” he said.
“There was some evidence that waiting times could be longer than expected, and this was a source of frustration for some patients. I am sure the trust will want to address that as a priority,” he added.
Trust chief executive Dr Kate Fallon said: “We are pleased that after such a thorough inspection our services were deemed to be safe, caring, effective, well led and responsive with a clear focus on quality.
“We are also extremely proud that one of the recurring themes of the CQC’s report is that patients are overwhelmingly positive about the quality of the services we provide and that the CQC reported positively on the care and compassion provided by our staff,” she said.
“As we expected, the report identifies some specific areas where we need to make improvements to systems and processes and we are already making progress towards delivering these,” she added.
“We welcome the insight provided by the CQC. The issues highlighted are related to specific areas of administration and we are confident that none have resulted in any harm to patients, their families or carers.”