Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been told that it requires improvement by the Care Quality Commission, with a need to ensure it has enough “suitably skilled and experienced staff”.
The CQC has today published its first report on the quality of care provided by the trust, which was inspected from 21-24 October, and again on 4 November.
Overall, the inspectors’ report concluded that the trust “requires improvement”. Safety was rated as “inadequate”, while effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership were rated as “requires improvement”. However, the regulator said that caring was rated as “good”.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is an integrated trust, which provides acute services at Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital.
“A number of these improvements are new and need time to become fully embedded”
The trust also has four community hospitals – Westwood Park, Westbourne Green, Eccleshill and a ward at St Luke’s.
The inspection team concluded that, overall, the trust must ensure there was access to sufficient numbers of suitably skilled and experienced staff.
At Bradford Royal Infirmary, this related specifically to staffing for children’s services, the recovery areas of the operating theatres and maternity services.
In addition, the hospital must ensure appropriate arrangements for infection prevention and control, including better access to sinks and improving practice on cleaning and disinfecting endoscopes.
Meanwhile, at its St Luke’s site, the trust was also told to ensure access on the wards to sufficient numbers of suitably skilled and experienced staff at all times.
Similarly, the trust must ensure that staffing levels on the community wards reflect the trust’s own planned levels and an acuity or dependency tool is used to determine staffing levels.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, CQC chief inspector of hospitals, acknowledged that there had been significant organisational changes at the trust over the last few months, including new appointments throughout “different clinical and managerial levels across divisions and departments”, as well as a new chief executive and chair.
“While there are some signs that this trust is improving, a number of these improvements are new and need time to become fully embedded – the new executive team still need to engage more fully with staff,” he said.
However, Sir Mike commended the trust for the many areas where they were demonstrating good and outstanding practice. In particular, he noted the “ground-breaking” work of the palliative care and elderly care teams.
During the inspection, CQC saw a number of areas of outstanding practice including internships for people with learning disabilities and a system of green wristbands worn by surgical patients to display personal and procedure information.
In addition, the hospital specialist palliative care team was awarded a multidisciplinary teamwork award from the International Journal of Palliative Nursing.
“There are countless references to the caring, compassionate nature of everyone who works for us”
Patients and their visitors reported that staff treated them with kindness and respect, and the inspectors observed positive, kind and caring interactions on wards and between staff and patients.
Trust chief executive Professor Clive Kay, said: “While we have made rapid and substantial progress in the six months since our inspection, the findings present a realistic picture of what further action we must take to accelerate our journey of improvement.”
Extra doctors and nurses, the creation of modern new facilities, and an unprecedented focus on quality and safety were at the “spearhead” of the package of improvements, he said.
Over £60m is being spent on improving wards and equipment, and more than £11m a year is being ploughed into additional staff and better services.
He added: “One of the important findings that really shines through in this report is that our 5,000 staff and volunteers are judged to be very caring people.
“Throughout it, there are countless references to the caring, compassionate nature of everyone who works for us – something of which we should all be proud.”