Inspection and Regulation

15.05.19

Trust to remain in special measures and issued with second CQC warning notice despite improvements

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS FT (NNUH) is to remain in special measures and has received a second CQC warning notice despite the CQC finding evidence of improvements and upgrading the trust’s Inadequate rating.

The major teaching hospital trust has been criticised over its leadership and the culture of its emergency department, and has been issued with a new warning notice requiring it to draw up an action plan of how improvements will be made.

But inspectors found that improvements had been made in medical care, surgery and critical care, and the trust is now rated Requires Improvement overall.

However, last month the hospital trust still performed the worst in the country for major A&E targets and following up on previous warning notices issued by the CQC, the inspectors said more work was needed.

Chief inspector of hospitals, Ted Baker, said there were inconsistencies in how risks were reviewed, and that in urgent and emergency care, issues remained regarding culture, leadership and the management of patient flow.

Targets for mandatory training in medical care were not being met and governance processes were not embedded, and the CQC has subsequently served the trust with its second warning notice.

Baker said: “I am recommending the trust remains in special measures, so that it can continue to receive the support it needs to make further improvements and ensure any changes can be maintained and sustained.”

Mark Davies, the trust’s chief executive, welcomed the CQC report and said he was proud of his staff after the CQC “recognised a number of examples of outstanding practice at the trust,” including the use of robotic surgery, plans to increase capacity and the newly opened Quadram institute.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank every one of our amazing staff who have been working so hard to deliver the Trust’s clear, comprehensive improvement programme.

“It is their dedication, commitment and hard work mainly through the winter months which has helped to improve our ratings in such a short period of time. We are now well on our way on our five-year journey to outstanding.”

But the CQC said that further inspections will follow, and Davies acknowledged a “massive backlog,” stating “we do need help, we cannot fix this on our own.”

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