The transformation of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which today upgraded the Trust’s rating from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’, with several areas of outstanding practice identified.
Commenting on the ‘significant progress’ made by the Trust, England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “We came across numerous examples where patient outcomes have improved since our last inspection, which is great news for people using these services.”
Siobhan McArdle, Chief Executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a big step forward for the Trust and a clear demonstration that we are delivering real change for patients.
“Our upgraded rating to ‘Good’ is down to the hard work and commitment of our staff, who have worked tirelessly to improve patient outcomes.
“We are incredibly proud of our organisation and the significant progress we have made over the past couple of years and we remain focused on continuing to provide outstanding care to the patients we serve.”
Two areas of practice – Nursing for End of Life care and work to provide care to patients closer to home – were identified as ‘Outstanding’ in the report.
Professor Richards also praised the IMProVE (Integrated Management and Proactive Care for the Vulnerable and Elderly) programme, which has re-designed the way care is delivered for the elderly, describing it as ‘best practice’.
Professor Richards continued: “During our original inspection, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was going through a significant period of change to restructure services and we saw them engaging with staff, local commissioners and the public.
“It is clear that this process and the changes that have been implemented as a result are reflected in the improved quality of care we found at this inspection.”
The Trust, which runs The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, as well as a range of community healthcare services across Hambleton & Richmondshire and Redcar & Cleveland, was re-inspected by the CQC in June 2016, following the previous review in December 2014.
Today’s findings acknowledged the newly established executive team, strengthened by investment in clinical leadership, held a clear ambition to be recognised as an outstanding organisation.
Professor Richards concluded: “We also found significant progress had been made in the areas of finance and governance which was a very encouraging sign. We were very impressed with the improvements we saw, and the Trust should be proud of their new ‘Good’ rating.”
The full report will be published on the CQC website.