The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated Stockport NHS Foundation Trust as Requires Improvement following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in January 2016

The report from the Care Quality Commission out this morning found that longstanding issues with the urgent and emergency services provided at Stepping Hill Hospital, and the trust must improve this as a priority.

There are also concerns  about the, long patient waits in A&E and the impact of bed capacity on patient experience.

According to the commission, although there were good systems and processes in place to protect patients from avoidable harm, these were not consistently applied. This was a particular concern in the A&E department.

When beds were not available within the hospital, patients were often placed in areas that were unsuitable for their needs and were subject to a number of bed moves during their stay.

The report also identifies a number of areas for improvements, including the deploying of sufficient numbers of suitably qualified staff in District Nursing services to make sure that they can meet people’s care and treatment needs. 

They also said the trust must stop using shared treatment rooms for patients at Hazel Grove Health Centre and screen off or move the area used for a mother and baby clinic in reception at Hazel Grove Health Centre to ensure their privacy and dignity.

There were though areas where there had been outstanding improvement.

The introduction of specialist testing for Clostridium-difficile ensured rapid results were available to medical teams to reduce the potential spread of infection within inpatient areas.

The paediatric unit had created information packs to support parents whose children were having specific procedures; for example a DVD and self-help pack had been created for children having one particular kind of spiker surgery. This included contact details for parents who had had a similar experience.

Whilst care on the Laurel suite and on the Bobby Moore Unit was outstanding. Staff were strongly person-centred and understood and respected the totality of patients’ needs. They involved patients as partners in their care and provided high levels of emotional support

Ellen Armistead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at CQC said:

“On the whole we saw staff treating patients in a compassionate and sensitive way, and patients and relatives were generally content with the care they received. We also identified some outstanding practice particularly within the trust’s neonatal and paediatric services.”


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