One of the UK’s biggest cancer centres has been rated “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission, which praised the dedication of nursing and other staff, and their “willingness to go the extra mile”.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, which treats patients from across Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire, Isle of Man and north Wales, was awarded the CQC’s top rating after an inspection in June last year.
“There was a friendly and open culture and staff received regular feedback”
The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “The trust was providing superb care with a leadership team that was visible respected.
“Staff were proud to work at Clatterbridge and spoke positively about the care they delivered,” he said. “There was a friendly and open culture and staff received regular feedback to aid future learning, and were being supported with their training needs by their managers.”
Services singled out by inspectors included the trust’s innovative Chemotherapy at Home service delivered by specialist nurses.
“This service embodied the overall trust vision of providing the best cancer care to their patients,” said Sir Mike.
The CQC also identified outstanding practice in end of life services provided by a team of specialist palliative care nurses and a consultant in palliative care medicine.
The service had developed an innovative training programme to improve the skills and knowledge of staff throughout the trust, noted the CQC. It involved simulating difficult situations to help staff become more confident when supporting patients nearing the end of life, their relatives and loved ones.
“All staff were committed to facilitating the requests of patients at the end of life. For example, there had been a number of weddings organised within a short period of time at the request of patients. Several staff were involved in facilitating these,” added the inspection report, which was published today.
“I am very proud of the hard work and dedication shown by all our staff”
In addition to the overall rating, the trust was rated “outstanding” for caring and leadership, “good” for effectiveness and responsiveness but “requires improvement” for safety.
Areas it was told to improve included staffing levels in its diagnostic imaging services, after inspectors found the department was “largely understaffed during the day”.
Trust chief executive Andrew Cannell paid tribute to staff and said the organisation was “delighted” with the outstanding rating given to the trust overall and also for being caring.
“Being rated ‘outstanding’ for caring across all our departments recognises the high standard of compassionate care our staff strive to provide for every single patient who comes through the doors of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral and Aintree, and our satellite clinics,” he said.
“I am very proud of the hard work and dedication shown by all our staff and volunteers. They fully deserve this rating,” said Mr Cannell.
“However, we are always looking to improve in everything we do and we will ensure we learn from all areas of the inspectors’ feedback as we look towards the future and working closely and positively with the community we serve,” he said.
Dedication of nurses at cancer centre praised by CQC