18th Nov, 2019

Services at the Alex have improved - but there is more work to be done

Rob George 17th Jan, 2018

SERVICES at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch have improved – but they still have a long way to go.

The Care Quality Commission has published its findings on Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust following their inspection in November.

The inspection assessed the core services of urgent and emergency care and medical care, including older people’s care at both sites.

All four of the core services inspected have improved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’ with urgent and emergency care at Worcester now rated ‘good’ and three of the four services have improved their overall rating from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’.

Given only four of the twenty-two core services were rated in this inspection, there have been no changes to the overall ratings of the hospitals individually or the Trust overall as a result of this inspection.

The CQC identified outstanding services in this review including care for patients with mental health conditions in the ED at the Alex, and medicines safety work by the Pharmacy Team in the Emergency Department (ED) at Worcestershire Royal.

Evergreen Ward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, which provides a rehabilitation area for inpatients waiting for discharge, was also singled out for praise for its outstanding work in promoting holistic care and timely discharge of patients.

The Health Watchdog also identified areas the Trust needs to continue to improve.

This includes further improvement in the levels of mandatory training, VTE risk assessments at 24 hours post admission, improved responsiveness by specialist doctors for patients in the Emergency Departments, timeframes for resolution of complaints and risk management processes.

Trust chief executive Michelle McKay said: “It confirms that we are making progress and it also helps us to identify those areas where further work is needed over the coming weeks and months.

“Our improved ratings in a number of key areas reflect the hard work done by colleagues across the Trust and our focus on improving safety and quality in our hospitals.

“The Trust’s leadership team are clear about the challenges which we still face. We understand that local people want to see more progress made, and we share their desire.

“However, we also hope that this report provides some welcome reassurance to all our hardworking and dedicated colleagues, and the people they care for, that we are moving the Trust in the right direction and making solid, sustainable improvements, underpinned by our ambitious Trust-wide three year culture change programme.”

“We will use this report to refine and refocus our quality improvement plan and we will continue to talk openly and honestly about the progress we are making, as well as the challenges that have to be overcome.”

An NHS Improvement spokesperson said: “While the trust still has a way to go on its improvement journey, this is clearly very encouraging progress.

“We are particularly pleased that focus and stability in the executive team is bringing about positive changes to patient care. We will continue to work closely with the trust’s leadership to ensure these changes are further embedded, and that patient services improve quickly.”

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