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16.10.19

Northumbria NHS FT rated Outstanding for the second time

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has awarded Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust an Outstanding rating for the second time.

The trust provides community care, mental health services and secondary care for around 500,000 people across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

The review, carried out by a team of CQC inspectors, took place between May 21 and June 28 2019 with a view to assess three key services across four of the trust’s hospitals.  

These were urgent and emergency services, medical care and maternity at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital and medical care at North Tyneside General Hospital and maternity at both Alnwick Infirmary and Berwick Infirmary.

Management and leadership were also assessed to answer the question ‘Is the trust well-led?’ which came out as Good. The report found that staff felt ‘respected, supported and valued.’

The last time the trust was rated Outstanding was in May 2016. This high standard has been maintained with the overall rating of the last inspection gaining the same result.

Particular commendation was given for the trust’s use of resources, based on an assessment undertaken by NHS Improvement.

Sarah Dronsfield, Head of Hospital Inspection, said:

“It is fantastic to have found this trust be Outstanding for a second time. The quality of care and support we saw being managed and provided was of a very high standard.

“We found a number of outstanding examples of care, particularly in medical care and maternity, where the trust was really pushing up the standards of care for the benefit of patient outcomes. We also found many of our previous concerns had been addressed well and the trust was working hard to advance its services overall.

“Our findings have been made clear to the trust and where we have found concerns, we will follow these up through our ongoing engagement with them. We will continue to monitor the trust and return to reinspect when appropriate.”

Previous Outstanding ratings for being effective, caring and responsive were also maintained and safety was rated as Good.

Inspectors noted that the majority of previous safety concerns had undergone improvement or been completely resolved and despite emergency department challenges, qualified nurses and staff addressed patient’s needs quickly and supportively.

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