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CQC calls on orthopaedics hospital to improve

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Regulators have told The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust that it needs to improve, but also highlighted how “exceptionally” caring staff were.

The Care Quality Commission has told the specialist orthopaedics provider that it must up its performance in a number of areas, including on the hand hygiene of senior doctors, following an inspection in October.

“Patients were full of praise for all the staff”

Mike Richards

Overall it was rated as “requires improvement”, but “good” for whether its services were caring and as “requires improvement” for whether services were safe, responsive, effective and well-led.

The trust’s Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and Hospital is one of the UK’s five specialist orthopaedic centres.

Patients told inspectors that there were long waiting times in the outpatients department. Clinics were not planned in a co-ordinated way to ensure that demand for support services was managed.

Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital

CQC calls on orthopaedics hospital to improve

Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital

Meanwhile, governance arrangements were in place but not applied in a “systematic and consistent manner”, said the regulator in its latest report on the trust.

Despite these concerns, it was noted that staff were “exceptionally caring and went the extra mile” for patients despite the added pressures on their workloads.

CQC chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “Our inspectors found that some improvements were needed.

“Whilst we found many examples of safe practice within medical care, there were inconsistencies across the service,” he said. “For example, the varied and incomplete reporting and monitoring of near misses and patient safety incidents that could cause patient harm.

“The outpatients’ service was also a concern because it was not offering patients timely access to services and there was a significant backlog of patients waiting for appointments,” he said.

“In addition, staff, particularly consultant medical staff, were not following national best practice to reduce the risk of infection,” said Sir Mike.

Sir Mike Richards

Sir Mike Richards

Sir Mike Richards

However, he added that inspectors found “many areas of good practice that staff should be proud of”.

“Patients we spoke with told us they had been well cared for, were shown respect, treated with dignity and their privacy was protected. They were full of praise for all the staff,” said Sir Mike.

Across the trust, the inspection team found several areas where improvements must be made, including incident reporting, including non-clinical ones, by staff, better standards of hand hygiene and that outpatient clinics be planned to prevent excessive demand on support services or other clinic areas.

Inspectors said they also witnessed some outstanding practice across the trust.

“In a few short weeks I have seen so many examples of outstanding care”

Bev Tabernacle

For example, staff in the high dependency unit enabled patients to maintain contact with their loved ones via the unit’s portable phone which was brought to the patients’ bedside.

In addition, in July 2015, a National Patient Safety Award for clinical leadership was won by the ward manager of the trust’s Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries.

Staff sickness levels at the centre had reduced from 27% to 0.2% during 2014-2015. This was largely attributed to the strong leadership of the ward manager, which had positively impacted on the team and reduced reports of stress related sickness.

Bev Tabernacle, the trust’s director of nursing, said: “I am new to this organisation, but in a few short weeks I have seen so many examples of outstanding care. It is so heartening to see that the CQC inspectors saw this too.

“Clearly, however, our overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ tells you that there are some areas where we can and must make changes,” she said. ”There are some key themes that come out of this report, and we have already begun making changes to address these.”


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