The Care Quality Commission has rated standards at Whittington Hospital NHS Trust in North London as “good” overall, with the caring approach of staff highlighted as “outstanding”.
CQC inspectors visited the trust, which operates under the name of Whittington Health, in December.
“We are proud that the way our staff care for patients has been rated as outstanding”
They said they heard from patients who described some services as “life changing” and overwhelmingly patients felt that they were treated with dignity and respect.
In addition, they found staff to be highly committed to the trust and that they delivered high quality patient care.
The work of nurses involved in safeguarding in the accident and emergency department were also singled out for praise by the regulator.
Most core services most were rated “good”, although critical care and outpatients and diagnostics were rated as “requires Improvement”.
Community end of life care and community dental services were both rated as “outstanding”, according to the regulator’s report.
“Within the emergency department there was outstanding work to protect people from abuse”
As a result, the Whittington becomes one of only eight NHS trusts in London to be rated as “good” overall by the regulator.
Speaking about the report’s overall findings, CQC chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “We saw staff provided compassionate care and patients were positive about the care they received and felt staff treated them with dignity and respect.
“Within the emergency department there was outstanding work to protect people from abuse,” he said. “The lead consultant and nurse for safeguarding co-ordinated weekly meetings attended by relevant staff to discuss cases where they were concerned that people may be at risk and to make plans to keep them safe.
“Within community end of life care we found the service provided outstanding, effective services to children, young people and their families. We saw examples of very good multi-disciplinary working and effective partnerships with the local GPs, other providers and hospices,” he added.
However, Sir Mike noted that there were “some areas of poor practice”, especially regarding how beds are used by the hospital.
He told the trust to review bed capacity across medicine, surgery and critical care to ensure patients were appropriately placed within the correct specialism.
Trust chief executive Simon Pleydell said: “This report stands as a testament to the tremendous hard work and commitment of our staff.
“Treating our patients with care and compassion is the foundation of all we do and we are proud that the way our staff care for patients has been rated as ‘outstanding’,” he said.
Whittington staff praised for compassionate care
“From protecting patients against abuse and providing cancer care workshops through to supporting children and young people at the end of their lives, the CQC inspectors witnessed many examples of our teams going ‘above and beyond’ to care for patients,” added Mr Pleydell.
But he acknowledged that the inspection team had also highlighted “some areas we know need to improve – particularly around our bed capacity and improving the flow of patients through our hospital and we have already started to address these specific concerns”.
The trust was established in April 2011, bringing together Islington and Haringey community services with Whittington Hospital’s acute services to form a new integrated care organisation.
It provides acute and community services to 500,000 people living in Islington and Haringey, as well as other boroughs including Barnet, Enfield, Camden and Hackney.
The trust has three main sites – Whittington Hospital, Hanley Primary Care Centre and St Luke’s Hospital. The Whittington, which is located in Archway, has approximately 320 beds.