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Ex-financial special measures trust leaps to ‘good' CQC rating

The former special financial measures trust behind Gloucestershire’s three main hospitals has jumped to a ‘good’ rating after the CQC found “vast improvements” and lessons learnt.

Inspectors have praised Gloucester Hospitals NHS FT (GHFT) for “implementing and thoroughly embedding improvements” after the CQC had ordered major changes to the trust in its previous inspection.

The fast-paced changes reported by the CQC come against a backdrop of financial troubles, with the trust only coming out of financial special measures in November.

GHFT was rated as ‘requires improvement’ for use of resources, but the trust declared it had made positive progress in managing its finances.

The CQC found that the urgent and emergency care at two major Gloucestershire hospitals, previously rated as ‘requires improvement’, have now jumped to a ‘good’ rating after it was found that staff were now receiving up-to-date training and were able to manage risks to patients well.

The trust’s hospitals have been consistently hitting its four-hour waiting and ambulance handover targets month on month, and the CQC commended recent changes to service provisions such as moving all scheduled trauma and orthopaedic appointments to Cheltenham.

Inspectors did warn that staffing levels on some wards was regularly down to minimum levels and most notably said it must improve the responsiveness of its services – a reflection of the long waiting times experienced by some patients.

The trust said it was “delighted” at the CQC’s newest rating which it said demonstrates the huge strides made at its Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham hospitals.

Deborah Lee, chief executive of GHFT, commented: “The most gratifying part of this report is the recognition of the contribution our staff have made to these significant improvements in the safety and quality of care given to our patients.

“In achieving this huge milestone, we join a group of just 33% of acute Trusts who have achieved this rating or better, and completes the ‘hat-trick’ of all three NHS healthcare providers in Gloucestershire being rated ‘good’ overall by the CQC.

“The inspectors’ insights also provide a valuable opportunity to further improve services for patients and will be a tremendous source of motivation for our staff to aim even higher.”

Nigel Acheson, the deputy chief inspector of hospitals for the CQC, congratulated the trust on its overall ‘good’ rating and praised staff at all levels for their active involvement in quality improvement.

He noted: “We hope that the trust will support their staff to continue to embed those improvements.”

Image credit - Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images


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