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06.06.18

Major trust remains ‘inadequate’ one year after entering special measures

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust remains ‘inadequate’ a year after it was first put into special measures, the health watchdog has announced.

The trust was given the rating by the CQC in April 2017 after its report found that managers did not act upon requirements to improve “unsafe” mental health services, understaffing and a subtle culture of bullying that exposed patients to an “unacceptable risk of harm.”

In its latest report after an inspection in January, the CQC rated seven of the trust’s 23 services as inadequate, and 11 as requires improvement. Ratings for mental health services, which was a key point of improvement in the CQC’s findings last year, remained as inadequate overall.

The findings, which focus on the whole of the healthcare system across the Isle of Wight of around 210,000 during holiday months, found instances such as some staff members not following hand hygiene guidelines when serving patients, and sometimes substantial staff shortages that meant the trust was relying on locum doctors and agency nurses who were “often poorly managed and disengaged.”

The trust’s safety was once again rated inadequate because medical staff were not sufficiently engaged in safety checks in surgery, there was a low rate of compliance with mandatory training, and medicines were not always managed and stored safely across services, amongst several other issues.

All services were rated good for caring. Two acute services, critical care and outpatients, were rated good overall.

The chief executive of the trust Karen Baker stood down ahead of the CQC report in April last year. New chief executive Maggie Oldham said the trust had the “foundations in place” to show recovery and improvement.

Oldham said: “We have always said that our improvement journey would not be an easy or a short one. As the CQC rightly concluded, we are in the early stages of our improvement journey and there is now potential for significant improvement at the trust. We must now build on these small but significant steps of progress in transforming care on the Island.

“However, the fact remains that we have not improved our overall rating from ‘inadequate’ and we are under no illusions that we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us to turn things around.”

Oldham added that it was pleasing to see the CQC finding “clear signs of recovery and improvement” and that there was growing momentum in the trust: particularly with the CQC’s acknowledgement of caring and compassionate staff members.

“It will take a lot of hard work from everyone who works at the trust, as well as from our health and social care partners, but we now have the foundations in place and I’m absolutely confident that we can and will deliver the services that our patients expect and deserve,” she concluded.

To see the CQC report in full, click here.

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