Top marks as Northumberland hospital services rated outstanding for second time

Health workers are celebrating being rated as outstanding for the second time.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 1:24 pm
Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital
Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Maternity, emergency and medical care were some of the services being hailed as among the best by The Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors from the CQC visited Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to assess three core services across four of the trust’s hospitals.

These were; urgent and emergency services, medical care and maternity at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, medical care at North Tyneside General Hospital and maternity at both Alnwick Infirmary and Berwick Infirmary. Inspectors also looked specifically at management and leadership.

The trust was previously rated at outstanding in May 2016.

In the report, Head of Hospital Inspection, Sarah Dronsfield, said: “It is fantastic to have found this trust be outstanding for a second time.

“The quality of care and support we saw being managed and provided was of a very high standard.

“We found a number of outstanding examples of care, particularly in medical care and maternity, where the trust was really pushing up the standards of care for the benefit of patient outcomes.

“We also found many of our previous concerns had been addressed well and the trust was working hard to advance its services overall.”

Inspectors found despite challenges the emergency departments were well staffed by qualified nursing and medical staff who addressed patient’s needs quickly and supported them to make informed decisions about their care.

In the emergency department, there had been no patients waiting longer than 12 hours without being admitted.

The department had also met the national four-hour target for eight of the 12 months from March 2018 to February 2019.

Feedback from people receiving care, friends, relatives and stakeholders about services and the way staff treated patients was consistently positive, including examples when staff had exceeded their expectations of care.

The trust’s maternity services were overhauled in 2015 and the inspection reported clear and robust polices to ensure safety and people were treated with compassion, kindness and appropriate emotional support.

Inspectors said leaders had the right skills and experience to run the services and staff felt valued and respected.