The Care Quality Commission has welcomed improvements in the care of patients using the accident and emergency department at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
The A&E department had previously been rated “inadequate” by the CQC – with patients waiting too long to be assessed and treated – but has now been rated “good” following its latest inspection.
“The trust can be proud of the improvements they have managed to date”
Meanwhile, figures from the NHS national trauma audit and research network, have shown that Southmead Hospital had the best survival rate of any trauma centre in England and Wales for 2015.
CQC chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “A year ago I was seriously concerned at the safety of the urgent and emergency services.
“There is still work to be done to improve how patients move through the hospital – but the trust can be proud of the improvements they have managed to date,” he said.
He added: “I am pleased that staff continue to work well together and were kind, caring and focused on their patients.”
A team of CQC inspectors visited North Bristol NHS Trust in December to follow up on the areas that had been rated as “inadequate” and “requires improvement” during inspection in November 2014.
The trust was also told it must still improve patient flow within the hospital and ensure there is a robust hospital-wide system of bed management.
In addition, it must ensure patient information remains confidential through appropriate storage of records in the outpatient clinics and theatre departments.
“The significant progress that has been made over the past year has been recognised”
Overall, the CQC’s latest report said it continued to rate the trust as “requires improvement, but acknowledged notable improvements in many services as well as A&E.
Inspectors highlighted several areas of outstanding practice, including dementia patients receiving care and treatment that was “sympathetic and knowledgeable”, and that a bereavement midwife also followed women up at home – visiting after the normal time limit for postnatal care.
Sir Mike said: “Staff were positive about working at the trust and they were encouraged to talk, email and tweet about why they were proud of their trust.
“Frontline staff and managers were passionate about providing a high quality service for patients with a continual drive to improve the delivery of care,” he added.
CQC notes ‘significant’ A&E improvements in Bristol
Trust chief executive Andrea Young said: “The significant progress that has been made over the past year has been recognised – nowhere more so than our emergency department.”
“This is a reflection of the hard work of all staff within the department and I know they are justifiably proud of the new rating,” she said.
Ms Young added: “We are not complacent and are determined to make further improvements.”