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UH Bristol retains ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating

16 August 2019

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) has once again been rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

UH Bristol was the first trust in the country to go from Requires Improvement to Outstanding in 2017, and is now the first to do this and then retain this rating.

The trust is currently one of only seven in the country to have been rated Outstanding twice, and one of only three general acute Trusts to achieve this.

Robert Woolley, Chief Executive of UH Bristol, said: "I am absolutely delighted that the Trust has been rated Outstanding by the CQC for the second time in a row.

"Given that the CQC report follows UH Bristol recently being named as a top general acute Trust in the national inpatient survey for 2018, this clearly demonstrates that our staff are very special people, doing an exceptional job to provide the best possible care for those who need our services.

"I'm proud of each and every one of the UH Bristol team and thrilled that their hard work has been recognised."

The CQC particularly praised staff for their commitment to patients saying 'staff cared for patients with compassion' and the 'feedback from patients was positive'. They also praised the culture of the organisation saying 'the values and vision for the Trust placed people who used services at University Hospitals Bristol at the centre'.

The CQC inspected four core services in April and May this year: urgent and emergency services, surgery, children and young people, and maternity.

The CQC rated the organisation as Outstanding for services being caring and well-led, whether services are effective and responsive are rated as Good, with safe being rated as Requires Improvement. Of the 39 indicators which make up the Trust's overall rating, 35 are rated either Good or Outstanding.

Within their formal report, inspectors highlighted many areas of exemplar practice across the Trust including:

  • The trust used a systematic approach to continually improving the quality of its services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care would flourish
  • Staff understood the totality of patients' needs, including the need for social interaction and support. Staff took the time to interact with patients and those close to them, in a respectful and considerate manner
  • There was a clear commitment from the trust to research and development
  • The approach to learning from deaths was exemplary with a clear focus on areas other than clinical needs such as dignity, end of life care and the experiences of those close to patients
  • There was a clear interconnected vision and strategy for the trust which recognised quality alongside sustainability

Robert continued:

"I was heartened that the CQC found no hint of complacency in the Trust, and we fully accept that not only do we need to continue to share innovation and best practice across our hospitals, we also need to address the areas highlighted for further improvement.

"For example, we are taking action to improve the storage of medication in the areas identified by the CQC, such as reviewing and updating the temperatures of some of our fridges, and we have investment planned to improve our environment as required.

"In relation to areas identified in urgent and emergency care, we're not alone in facing the pressures of high demand for these services, and we're looking at ways both internally and with our system partners across the region to make further improvements to ensure patients consistently receive timely care and treatment.

"We will continue to build on the things that made us, and helped us to retain, Outstanding, and our new five year vision, Embracing Change, Proud to Care, gives us a strong foundation to help us to do this."
UH Bristol retains ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating
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