NBT response to CQC report into emergency services at Southmead

Friday, 27 November 2015

Providing a safe and high quality emergency service for our patients is our number one priority.

Therefore we very much welcome the latest report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which positively reflects the many changes and improvements that have been made in our emergency zone over the last six months.

When the CQC visited in May many of these had yet to be realised. Several months on when they re-inspected in October they have become firmly embedded thanks to the enormous efforts and commitment of all staff to improve patient flow throughout the hospital, freeing up capacity in the Emergency Department.

This has been a priority since January 2015 when the CQC rated the department as inadequate and issued us with a warning notice – the conditions of which have now been fully met.

Inspectors also noted increased staffing levels during busy times, patients requiring mental health assessments were now situated in the most appropriate location and flow within the department was “much improved”.

There were some areas for improvement which include ensuring care records are completed appropriately and filled in at the time of completion to contain an accurate record of care and making sure there is adequate visibility of all patients in the waiting room to manage unpredictable risks.

These form part of our ongoing action plans and we hope to be able to show that progress has been made when the CQC return next month for a wider inspection.

Although this report has highlighted the positive work that has been undertaken, we are far from complacent.

Our focus is now on maintaining these standards throughout the winter period as we continue to work with local healthcare partners to manage patients safely, providing them with the best possible experience and ensuring they have appropriate and timely discharge from hospital.

Andrea Young

Chief Executive

North Bristol NHS Trust

Continued focus on improving pressure on our Emergency Department

When the CQC visited the ED in November 2014, they highlighted improvements which were required. When they visited again earlier this year a number of improvements had been made, including:

  • A second triage nurse to allow the department to see more patients, reducing waiting times and resulting in safer care
  • Changes to the reception area to ensure greater visibility of patients at risk of deteriorating
  • Quicker handover within the majors area, meaning that patients are assessed more safely 
  • Reintroduction of the practice development team - The three strong team have developed a competency based framework and provide lectures focused on developing a number of core skills such as suture, triage and plastering, they also work closely with staff in the department to ensure all mandatory training is up to date and relevant to the care staff they are providing.

Significant progress has continued and the Acute Medical Unit opened in July 2015, meaning that medical patients referred as an emergency by their GP are now managed in this area, continuing to reduce further pressure on the ED. 

We have also opened a new discharge lounge which can accommodate up to 12 patients at any one time. This allows wards to discharge patients and free up beds first thing in the morning.

The full report can be accessed via this link:  http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/RVJ01