Services provided by Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have been rated as “good”, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
It was rated as “good” overall, as well as “outstanding” for whether its services were well-led and responsive, “good” for being effective and caring, but “requires improvement” for being safe.
“Overwhelmingly staff were positive about working at the trust”
The CQC’s report said the trust had a “well-developed set of values” that were recognised by the workforce and was proactive in engaging with staff.
The emergency department consistently met the four-hour target to admit, refer or discharge and were generally performing significantly better than the England average, noted the regulator, which visited the trust on 27 January and 4 February.
Inspectors also noted other areas of “outstanding practice”, including that the trust’s dementia nurse specialist was licensed to deliver a virtual dementia tour to hospital trust staff.
The virtual tour gave staff an experience and insight to what it is like living with dementia, which was very popular and gave staff an understanding of people’s individual needs, said the CQC.
In addition, the trust was praised for the implementation of “super Saturdays” for elective surgery lists, which helped to reduce waiting lists, and for its endometriosis regional centre.
Children’s services were also commended for being able to meet the complex needs of children and young people. The level of information given to parents was often in depth and complex, but staff managed to communicate in a way they could understand, said inspectors.
“I have no doubt that the trust will maintain and improve its performance”
However, the CQC highlighted areas in need of improvement, including that all staff should complete mandatory training in line with trust targets, for example on conflict resolution.
There should also be consistent processes to enable patients to self- administer their medicines, and the trust should ensure lessons from never events, incidents and complaints were shared across all staff groups, said the regulator.
CQC chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “We found staff to be dedicated, kind, caring and patient focused. Overwhelmingly staff were positive about working at the trust and they talked about being proud of their workplace and the care they delivered.
“We were particularly impressed by the urgent and emergency care department, children, young people and families services and outpatients and diagnostics, all of which were rated outstanding overall,” he said.
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He added: “We found there was effective multi-disciplinary working across the trust. Staff worked well together to provide co-ordinated care to patients.”
Trust chief executive Pauline Philip said: “The report is an acknowledgement of the tremendous commitment and hard work shown by our staff consistently over many years.
“I have no doubt that the trust will maintain and improve its performance in all domains over the coming months and years,” she said. “The report will be a motivational force for all of us.”