The Care Quality Commission has rated the services run by Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Sussex as “good” overall.
The trust provides specialist burns and plastic surgery service for people from across the country and also cares for armed personnel, children and young people who have life disfiguring injuries.
“We saw that staff were incredibly caring and compassionate”
The CQC rated the trust as “good” for safety, effectiveness, responsiveness to the needs of people and leadership, although it was rated as “outstanding” for being caring.
Outpatient services and children and young people’s services, minor injuries and specialist burns and plastic surgery were rated as “good”, while critical care was rated as “requires improvement”.
During their inspection in November, inspectors said they found patients and their families were treated with dignity and respect and their needs were met by caring and compassionate staff.
Inspectors also found staff were taking steps to improve the experience for patients living with dementia, including allowing extra time during assessment and personalising care and treatment.
Nursing staff levels were described as “appropriate”, although a lack of medical cover out-of-hours was leading to patients having to sometimes wait for urgent care, said the CQC in its report.
“Our staff are committed to providing expert and compassionate care”
Inspectors identified a number of areas of outstanding practice at the hospital in East Grinstead, including unique aftercare opportunities for paediatric burns patients, a “cutting edge” prosthetics department and a comprehensive patient pathway for head and neck patients.
For example, head and neck patients attended a pre-assessment appointment, were allocated a named nurse and visited other departments in the hospital that would be part of their treatment.
In addition, the CQC highlighted a burns outreach nurse post that provided an “innovative solution” to deal with patients recover from burns in the community.
However, the CQC identified two main areas where the trust must make improvements.
These were to ensure that all medication in theatre was stored appropriately and that medical cover out-of-hours was sufficient to meet patient needs.
CQC chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “We saw some excellent practice.
“We saw that staff were incredibly caring and compassionate in their dealings with patients, and patients praised the care that they received with areas of the care found to be outstanding,” he said.
Specialist burns hospital given ‘good’ CQC rating
“There were some areas where improvements were required. The highest priority for the trust is to address the lack of residential medical cover for out-of-hours services,” he added.
Trust chief executive Richard Tyler said: “We are delighted to get this seal of approval as a safe and well-led hospital offering outstanding care.
“Our staff are committed to providing expert and compassionate care and should be rightly proud to have this recognised by the inspectors,” he added.