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7 February 2019, 09:16 | Updated: 7 February 2019, 09:17
Services run by the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been rated Good, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
A team of inspectors visited Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital in October and November to check the quality of four core services: urgent and emergency services, medical care, surgery and outpatients.
CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well-led?
The trust is now rated Good for being safe, effective, caring, and well-led, and remains Requires Improvement for responsiveness to people's needs. Overall the trust rating has improved to Good.
Read the full report here.
Dr Nigel Acheson, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:
''Since their first comprehensive inspection in March 2015, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has implemented and thoroughly embedded improvements and I am pleased to congratulate the trust in reaching an overall rating of good.
''Patients we met on inspection were entirely positive about their care. We found staff to be dedicated, kind, caring and patient focused. We found clear evidence of leaders who were visible and committed to continual improvement and instilling a shared vision of high quality care.
''Staff at all levels of the organisation were actively involved in quality improvement; we found evidence of positive changes in practice as a result of their improvement initiatives. We hope that the trust will support their staff to continue to embed those improvements. We will return in due course to check their progress.''
Within urgent and emergency care, inspectors found that overall the four-hour target was consistently met. There had been a vast improvement since the last inspection. Both hospitals treated concerns and complaints seriously, investigated, learned lessons, and shared the results with all staff. A specialist team engaged with patients with learning disabilities to ensure their individual needs were understood and met during emergency attendances.
Deborah Lee, Chief Executive of GHNHSFT, said: "The most gratifying part of this report is the recognition of the contribution our staff have made to these significant improvements in the safety and quality of care given to our patients. I also hope it will be reassuring for our patients who rely on the quality of our services, to know that they officially in 'good' hands.
"In achieving this huge milestone we join a group of just 33% acute Trusts who have achieved this rating or better and completes the 'hat-trick' of all three NHS healthcare providers in Gloucestershire being rated 'GOOD' overall by the CQC."
Deborah added: "The inspectors' insights also provide a valuable opportunity to further improve services for patients and will be a tremendous source of motivation for our staff to aim even higher.
"Of particular importance is the residual 'requires improvement' rating for the responsiveness of our services - a reflection of the long waiting times experienced by some patients. This is an area that is achieving huge focus in the Trust and I am confident that our plans to improve waiting times will improve significantly. This has been demonstrated most recently with the achievement of the two week cancer waiting time standard (for the first time in more than two years).
"We want our 'GOOD' rating to be a stepping stone on our journey to an 'OUSTANDING' rating at our next inspection. The best organisations are continuously striving to improve and our focus will remain in achieving this outcome for our patients in Gloucestershire."
Steve Hams, Director of Quality and Chief Nurse of GHNHSFT, added: "I am particularly proud of the extent to which the whole organisation has focused on delivering better experience and outcomes for our patients. Our nursing, midwifery and AHP teams have demonstrated exceptional leadership and I am delighted that this has been recognised by the CQC. We acknowledge there is more to do to ensure every patient has the very best responsive service to meet their health and care needs, and we are united in our commitment to Best Care For Everyone "
Accountable Officer at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Integrated Care System (ICS) lead, Mary Hutton said: "We would like to congratulate Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - the staff and leadership - on achieving their overall 'Good' rating and for the progress that continues to be made across the organisation for the benefit of patients. This news is worthy recognition of the commitment to put excellent patient care, experience and safety at the heart of day to day work and in planning for the longer term.
"The Trust's 'journey to outstanding' is an integral part of One Gloucestershire's wider ambition to make this county a healthier place to live with the best possible support and services in place when needed."
The Trust says the next steps will include developing an action plan to address the improvement opportunities highlighted in the report. They are also working on our five-year strategy to achieve an 'OUTSTANDING' rating.