Compassionate staff score a Good rating for Outpatients services at Southmead Hospital

Friday, 9 March 2018

Our Outpatients services have been rated as Good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The latest report into services at Southmead Hospital was published by the CQC this week, with inspectors highlighting that staff cared for patients with compassion. This was noted at all staff levels, with the interactions between cleaners and patients in the department being highlighted within the report. This was echoed by the feedback the CQC received from patients who said staff “treated them well and with kindness”.

The “different and innovative ways” staff were developing to manage patient care and improve the efficiency of clinics was acknowledged as well as the work with allied healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists, which supports this.
The report said: “We observed staff ‘going the extra mile’. On several occasions we saw cleaners who were working in outpatient waiting areas stop and talk to patients.”
It also said that the service performed well in the NHS Friends and Family Test with 93% of patients saying they would recommend the service to someone else.

Inspectors highlighted that Outpatients was able to identify and meet the information and communication needs of people living with a disability or with mental ill health. This included the management of dementia, learning disabilities and patients with self-harming or suicidal thoughts.

Leaders within the service were also praised for their “skills, knowledge, experience, integrity and enthusiasm to lead effectively”.

And inspectors highlighted processes that were “innovative and focussed on improving safety, quality and a patient experience specifically for outpatients”.

The Outpatients service at North Bristol NHS Trust is supported by a call centre to manage appointment referrals and bookings and deal with patient queries, cancellations and rearranging appointments. The team, based in the Brunel building, has been working hard to improve the efficiency to ensure that patients have the best experience they can when they get in contact about their appointments.

The team receives around 15,000 calls a month but over the last six months has seen the average waiting times for calls to be answered halve.

Outpatients Service Manager, Nick Evans, said: “I am very pleased that the CQC has recognised the progress made since the last inspection and rated Outpatients as “good” and I would like to thank the clinical and administrative teams who work within Outpatients for their continued commitment to providing high quality patient-centred care.”