Health watchdogs have rated University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust as 'good' overall following a recent inspection – and ‘outstanding’ for providing effective services.
The Care Quality Commission visited the city’s hospitals in December and January to assess a range of areas across Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals, as well as the New Forest Birth Centre.
Inspectors also reviewed the Royal South Hants Hospital, where UHS provides some outpatient services.
Following the visit, all sites and services across the organisation are now rated as ‘good’ in the effective and caring domains, with Southampton General Hospital ‘outstanding’ in these areas.
The latest inspection focused on the quality of four core services – urgent and emergency care, medicine, maternity and outpatients – as well as management and leadership and effective and efficient use of resources.
Urgent and emergency care received an overall rating of ‘good’, with ‘outstanding’ scores for effective and caring services. Medicine – including medicine for older people – was rated ‘good’ overall with ‘outstanding’ for caring and responsive services.
Maternity received a ‘good’ rating overall and in all individual categories other than safety which recorded a ‘requires improvement’ rating, while outpatient services were rated ‘requires improvement’ – both largely due to the quality and age of the estates and facilities.
Southampton Children’s Hospital remains ‘good’ overall and ‘outstanding’ for care.
As part of the report, the CQC also published the trust’s Use of Resources (UoR) report, which is based on an assessment undertaken by NHS Improvement of how effectively and efficiently trusts are using resources.
UHS was rated as ‘good’ in the well-led category and for using its resources productively, with its combined UoR and quality rating now ‘good’.
“There is so much for us to celebrate across the organisation in this report given the challenges facing the NHS and our ‘good’ rating is testament to the quality and commitment of our staff, who continue to work tirelessly to provide the best possible services,” said Gail Byrne, director of nursing and organisational development at UHS.
“We are particularly pleased all of our services are now rated either good or outstanding in the effectiveness and caring domains and to receive such positive feedback regarding the culture across teams and departments.
“The inspection has highlighted some areas in need of improvement, particularly around the difficulties of an ageing estate and increasing volume of patients, but the report also acknowledges how our staff work hard to mitigate any risks presented.”
Dr Nigel Acheson, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals for the south, said: “Our inspectors found a strong patient-centred culture with staff committed to keeping their people safe, and encouraging them to be independent. Patients’ needs came first and staff worked hard to deliver the best possible care with compassion and respect.
“Inspectors saw many areas of outstanding practice, with care delivered by compassionate and knowledgeable staff. Several teams led by example with a continuous focus on quality improvement.
“The trust did face some challenges especially with the ageing estates. Some patient environments were showing significant signs of wear and tear – but again staff were doing their utmost to deliver compassionate care."
The full report will be available on the CQC website later today.
Posted on Wednesday 17 April 2019