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University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust announced as outstanding

2 March 2017

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) has been announced as one of the highest-rated NHS trusts in the country by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The trust has been rated outstanding by the CQC following an inspection in November 2016, becoming the first Trust in the country to go from 'requires improvement' to 'outstanding' between two inspections.

Staff at UH Bristol have been praised for driving improvement for patients by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, who also said:

"The hard work has paid off in making a real difference to the lives of people using the services, in the immediate Bristol area and in the wider South West in general."

Robert Woolley, chief executive of UH Bristol, said:

"We are delighted to share these findings of the latest CQC inspection of our trust.

"We are the sixth acute trust to receive this rating but the first in the country to make the transition from 'requires improvement' to 'outstanding' between two inspections and in only two years. The CQC saw that we have taken clear action to address those areas of weakness they identified in our last inspection in 2014, but they also saw real examples of innovation and strength in all areas.

"We will continue to listen to the concerns and suggestions of staff and patients alike, we remain committed to keep learning and we will make sure we tackle those areas for improvement which the CQC have found. But the people of Bristol and beyond can have pride and confidence in the skills and dedication of our staff who the CQC saw were committed to providing not just the best clinical care but doing so with real kindness and compassion, bringing to life our trust values and confirming that every single one of us is proud to care."

The focus of this inspection was on services previously rated as requires improvement: surgery; medical care; and outpatients and diagnostics. Inspectors also looked at urgent and emergency care. However, the overall rating includes service rated in the trust's previous inspection back in 2014.

Overall, inspectors identified a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • In times of crowding the emergency department was able to call upon pre-identified nursing staff from the wards to work in the department. This enabled nurses to be released to safely manage patients queueing in the corridor
  • New starters in the emergency department received a comprehensive, structured induction and orientation programme, overseen by a clinical nurse educator and practice development nurse. This provided new staff with an exceptionally good understanding of their role in the department and ensured they were able to perform their role safely and effectively
  • Staff in the teenagers and young adult cancer service continually developed the service, and sought funding and support from charities and organisations, in order to make demonstrable improvements to the quality of the service and to the lives of patients diagnosed with cancer
  • There was a focus on leadership development at all levels in order to support the culture and development of the trust
  • There was a use of innovation and research to improve patient outcomes and reduce length of stay and the use of a discrete flagging system to highlight those patients who had additional needs
  • The trust introduced a drop-in chest pain clinic to improve patient attendance
View the full report on the CQC website.
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust announced as outstanding
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