Health watchdogs rate city's hospitals 'good' following inspection

Fiona Dalton

Health watchdogs have rated University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust 'good' following a recent inspection – with critical care 'outstanding'.

The Care Quality Commission visited Southampton General Hospital in January and February to assess if improvements had been made since the regulator's last visit in 2014, which saw the trust rated 'requires improvement'.

Inspectors returned to review surgery, end of life care, outpatients and radiology, scoring all services 'good', while critical care, which covers the general, neurosciences and cardiac intensive care units, surgical, respiratory and cardiac high dependency units and the critical care outreach team, was assessed as 'outstanding'.

The previous ratings of 'good' remain in place for emergency care, medicine and services at Southampton Children's Hospital, the Princess Anne Hospital and hospice Countess Mountbatten House.

As a result of the review at Southampton General, the site received a 'good' rating with the caring domain scored as 'outstanding'.

This means all services at UHS are now rated 'good' or 'outstanding'.

Fiona Dalton, chief executive of UHS, said: “These results are a tribute to everyone across the whole trust who has worked so hard and with such commitment to give the best possible care to our patients. Every day I see or hear about examples of exceptional patient care and I know that these ratings are very well-deserved.

“I am so proud to be chief executive of this hospital and I would like to say thank you to all of our staff for everything they do every day to make UHS such a special place.”

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the chief inspector of hospitals, said: “I am delighted to report that we have found significant improvement in all the core services we inspected. University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has clearly put patients at the heart of all major decisions. The chief executive even holds patient lunches to gather people’s feedback and pass on any lessons.

“Throughout we found a trust which demonstrated a healthy impatience to improve – from the top down. The council of governors were highly engaged with the board, the executive team and the hospital staff as a whole.”

He added: “We came across many examples where the staff interactions with patients or relatives had exceeded expectations, not only clinical staff, but domestic, portering, catering and clerical staff too.

“The trust has a large body of 1,000 volunteers who are used in many roles around the hospital. Their dedication, kindness and their willingness to help their local population was outstanding.”

The full report is available on the CQC website.

Posted on Thursday 15 June 2017