Trust welcomes Care Quality Commission report

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Care Quality Commission has published its report into services at North Bristol NHS Trust.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected North Bristol NHS Trust just before Christmas.  Every single service was rated as being “good” in the context of caring and Trust staff were described by the CQC as being “committed and passionate”.

The CQC did criticise overcrowding in the Emergency Department (ED) and as a result gave the Trust an overall rating of “requires improvement”, but acknowledged that improving discharge processes for patients is not something the Trust can fix on its own. This will need the Trust to continue to work with local commissioners and local authorities to resolve.

Overcrowding in ED is one of the symptoms of pressure across the health and social care system. The Trust frequently has large numbers of patients who are fit to be discharged from hospital but who can’t go home because their community care support isn’t ready.  This in turn makes it impossible to free up beds and move patients from an overcrowded ED into the main hospital.

Andrea Young, chief executive of North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “I am very pleased that the CQC rated every one of our services as being “good” for caring and I am particularly pleased that the CQC described our maternity service in Cossham Hospital and our community services for children and young people as “outstanding”.

"As the CQC notes, the solution to our challenges of under-capacity and over-crowding lies in the whole health and social care system in Bristol working together. We are addressing some of the important issues raised by the CQC but the question of capacity requires a response from the whole of the local health and social care community.

“It’s also important to remember that this inspection took place in the run up to Christmas, the busiest period in the history of the NHS not just here in Bristol but across the country.”

Among the changes being made by the Trust to address matters raised by the CQC are the more rapid assessment of patients when they arrive in ED, the opening of a new GP Assessment Area and the introduction of four additional cubicles for initial assessment to reduce pressure.

The CQC inspection also took place just a few months after the move into the new Brunel building at Southmead Hospital.  The CQC has never before inspected a hospital so soon after such a big move but paid credit to the Trust for the smooth nature of the move.  Despite some teething problems which are being dealt with, patients are now reaping some important benefits from the new hospital such as very low infection rates and improved dignity and privacy.

Andrea Young said: “I am confident that, with our action plans already progressing and having now settled in to our new hospital, we can expect to see further benefits that will enable us to provide quality care that achieves the best possible outcomes for all our patients.”

While the Trust aspires to being significantly better than average its current CQC Trust rating is average for the NHS as a whole.