BOSSES at South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) are fuming after being told they must improve despite being ranked among the best NHS trusts in the UK.
Earlier this year the trust – which covers Warwick, Leamington, Stratford and Shipston hospitals – was inspected by healthcare regulators the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Overall 78 per cent of the CQC’s findings were ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ – ranking SWFT in the top 40 of all 153 trusts in the UK.
Inspectors rated the trust as ‘good’ in the caring and responsive categories, praised services, including the Central England Rehabilitation Unit (CERU) which supports people who have suffered brain injuries, and also marked it as outstanding for community nursing and the Warwick Hospital A&E department.
But in safety, effectiveness and well-led categories the trust was marked as requiring improvement.
Some of the failures flagged up in the report included medicine kept in unlocked cupboards, incomplete risk assessments and night staff caring for double the recommended number of patients.
It meant SWFT joined over half of all trusts being rated as requiring improvement – and it did not go down well.
Chief executive Glen Burley is now calling for a re-inspection after the areas of concern were swiftly addressed.
He said: “We employ some of the best clinicians in the country and are extremely proud of the services that we deliver across Warwickshire and of our teams that provide them.
“The report confirms that we have been recognised nationally in many areas, in particular our work within accident and emergency and urgent care to improve patient flow where we are now providing support and advice to other organisations to help them improve safety. The CQC has also reported that our culture is positive and open with excellent staff survey results and patient feedback.
“There were only three recommendations that the CQC highlighted as important and these have all been addressed. We have requested a re-inspection at the earliest convenience with a different inspection team.”
And medical director Charles Ashton said the report did not reflect the trust’s performance.
He said: “With over 18 years’ experience as a medical director, I am confident of the high quality and safe care that we provide for our patients and service users. During my feedback session with the CQC, they provided assurance that there were no major concerns, this is reflected in the body of the report and I think it is unfortunate that our overall rating does not suggest this. I am proud of the teams and feel our clinical care is excellent.”
SWFT say its rating went against many of the national indicators which placed them in the top 40 in the country.
Bosses hope the CQC will re-inspect soon.