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Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital ‘requires improvement’ – CQC

Services run by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust (RNOH) have been rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ overall following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, although several areas of the trust were rated as ‘Outstanding’.

The trust is the largest orthopaedic hospital in the UK, providing services from its main hospital site in Stanmore, Middlesex, and an outpatient clinic in Bolsover Street, London.

However, following an inspection in May, CQC rated the trust as ‘Requires Improvement’ for safety, responsiveness and leadership, although it was rated as ‘Outstanding’ for being caring and effective.

CQC found that people using the hospital received effective care which led to good outcomes, and that services were designed in response to patient needs. Surgery and medical care were rated as Outstanding in two areas, and children’s care was rated as Outstanding in one.

Inspectors found, however, that the premises at the Stanmore site were not fit for purpose, and did not provide a suitable environment to treat and care for patients. CCQ found that this was the critical issue facing the trust in terms of providing good patient care across the board.

In March last year, the RNOH got planning approval for a major redevelopment of its site, as more than 60% of its buildings are more than 60 years old.

Rob Hurd, chief executive at RNOH, said: “We accept that there are areas that need improvement, in particular our estate and assurance processes, to ensure that the RNOH continues to provide outstanding care and effective outcomes for our patients.”

CQC identified a number of areas where the trust must make improvements, including making sure that the design and layout of the Stanmore site meets the needs of all those who use it, robust risk management systems are in place and that the learning from incidents is widely shared, and outpatient clinics start on time and patients do not experience avoidable delays.

Hurd added that work is already underway to address the areas of improvement highlighted by the CQC and is confident the trust can gain an overall good rating to fulfil its ambitions to rebuild the Stanmore site and gain Foundation Trust status.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, CQC’s chief inspector of Hospitals, said: “When we inspected the RNOH, we saw some outstanding practice, but also some areas where improvements were required. The highest priority for the trust at this moment in time is to address the environmental issues that we identified.

“We saw that staff were caring and compassionate in their dealings with patients, and patients praised the care that they received. We’ll return in due course to check that the improvements needed have been made, and hope to see that the good practice we identified will be sustained.”

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