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CQC publish latest ratings for University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today released its findings from the planned inspection at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust during April and May 2018.

Overall, the Trust remains graded as Requires Improvement, however ratings in two of the sub-categories have deteriorated with Effective and Well-Led both moving from Good to Requires Improvement.

Previous ratings

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New ratings

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The Trust remains rated Outstanding for Caring – one of only 36 out of 148 acute trusts nationally. Although this domain was not re-inspected during this visit, inspectors spoke of witnessing compassionate care from staff and volunteers across the service areas.


'Despite challenges caused by the environment, demand and crowding, [Emergency Department] staff did their best to provide compassionate care to all patients.’ (p.6)

‘Staff [in Surgery] treated patients with compassion, dignity and respect. Staff recognised and responded to patient anxiety and distress and recognised that emotional support extended beyond patients’ physical needs.’ (p.7)

‘Women and those close to them spoke highly of the care and compassion they had received from all [Maternity] staff in both the community and hospital setting.’ (p. 48)

‘[Diagnostic Imaging patients] received high quality care and were shown kindness, compassion and respect. Staff made small talk with patients and put them at ease.’ (p.60)

Inspectors have issued two warning notices, one for Pharmacy and one for Diagnostic Imaging. The Trust accepts their findings and has outlined improvement programmes which are being implemented to address them to the CQC.

Out of the 43 service domains which have been rated, inspectors gave two inadequate ratings under Responsive and Well-led within the Diagnostic Imaging service area. The remaining service domain ratings are: two Outstanding, 28 Good and 11 Requires Improvement.

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The report also highlighted various examples of outstanding practice, such as inspectors commending our commitment to involve people who use our services, our excellent record on infection control and recognising that there had been actions taken and advancements made around improving culture.

Ann James, Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that despite a very challenging winter and early spring we continue to be rated Outstanding for Caring. This is testament to the dedication and culture of compassionate care demonstrated by our staff and volunteers – so a massive thank you goes out to our #1bigteam. Fostering a culture of compassionate care is really important to us and our staff and volunteers truly live the Trust values.

“Clearly it is disappointing to receive two warning notices. In line with our open and transparent approach, we alerted the CQC inspectors to problems we had identified in Pharmacy prior to their inspection and told them what we were doing to address these. The issues highlighted in the report were already known to us and action was underway to make improvements.

“The Diagnostic Imaging warning notice relates particularly to us not meeting national waiting time standards for diagnostic tests such as MRI, CT and ultrasound. Demand for diagnostic tests has risen hugely and we are now working on an action plan to reduce waits for diagnostic treatments which will include sourcing more external capacity and strengthening the support available to the Imaging Department.

“The Board and I accept the findings, we are on an improvement journey and our focus remains on continuing to make advancements in the areas highlighted. We look forward to welcoming the CQC inspectors back to show them what we have done.”

A copy of the full report will be available on the CQC website from 09.00 Wednesday 15 August.


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