The Care Quality Commission has awarded an “outstanding rating” to a community care enterprise for the first time.
Nottingham CityCare Partnership, which is led by a former nurse, was praised for “making a real difference to patients across Nottingham and Derby” in the CQC’s report, which was published on Wednesday.
“The organisation is an important one to patients across Nottingham”
The partnership provides community health services for patients of all ages, as well as urgent care services and community end of life care. It covers Nottingham and also provides a school age immunisation programme in Derby.
The organisation was rated by the regulator as “outstanding” for providing services that were caring and well led, and judged as “good” on whether its services were safe, responsive and effective.
The CQC singled out Nottingham CityCare Partnership’s end of life and urgent care services for particular praise. The partnership met the four-hour target for treating patients at its urgent care unit, Nottingham NHS Urgent Care Centre, between July and November last year.
In addition, the centre’s medical director had developed an application that allowed staff to review an anonymised patient record, reflect on the notes and automatically produced a scoring system to highlight areas of good practice.
It provided clinical staff with an effective way to self and peer review their decision making, treatment plans and record keeping, said the regulator.
“This result has been a collective effort from everyone working within CityCare”
The CQC’s report also highlighted the creation of three virtual hospice beds in the partnership’s nursing home, which enabled patients to access respite care 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
Teams were also seen as supportive of each other and aware of the emotional stress of working in end of life care. The Macmillan support team had a “sparkling moments” book, in which they recorded their positive experiences of palliative and end of life care.
The partnership is a key provider in the Nottingham City vanguard project to improve the health and care services provided to people in care homes.
It is also involved in an integrated care programme run by Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group and Nottingham City Council to help keep people out of hospital, as well as supporting a hospital discharge project.
Community social enterprise first to be rated ‘outstanding’
The partnership’s chief executive Lyn Bacon, who has been a nurse and a midwife, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for CityCare and all of our teams who are working hard every day to ensure our services and planned and delivered around the needs of individual patients.
“This result has been a collective effort from everyone working within CityCare but also in the wider system, where CityCare are well supported by our local clinical commissioning croup and other partners,” she said. “We have a mind-set of continuous improvement so won’t be complacent about our rating.”
The CQC carried out its announced inspection between 28 November and 1 December 2016. An unannounced inspection of the service’s urgent care centre was carried out on 7 December 2016.
The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “I am delighted to announce that Nottingham CityCare Partnership has been rated as ‘outstanding’.
“The organisation is an important one to patients across Nottingham; providing a wide range of services from urgent care, children’s services right through to end of life care,” he said.
Sir Mike Richards
Sir Mike said that feedback from patients, relatives, carers and families was “consistently positive” about the service they had received from CityCare staff.
“The organisation had a strong focus on quality and safety and providing services that met the local needs of patients,” he said. “Throughout the inspection, we saw how patient safety was at the forefront of the agenda.
“The hard work of staff across the organisation is exemplary and making a real difference to patients across Nottingham and Derby,” he added.
A CQC spokeswoman said, to date, it has rated four social enterprises – also known sometimes as community interest companies.
The three others – Bristol Community Health, Plymouth Community Healthcare and Peninsula Community Heath – were all rated as “good” by the regulator.