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Trust welcomes latest CQC report and looks ahead to further progress

Welcoming the publication of our latest CQC inspection report, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Michelle McKay says:

“Every day, at each of our hospitals, colleagues in wards and department are working hard to further improve the safety and quality of the care we provide for our patients.

“Thanks to their efforts we have built on the achievements which were reflected in our previous CQC report and delivered higher standards of care for thousands more patients across a range of services.

“Particularly pleasing is the recognition for our multi-award winning maternity services which are now rated “Good” overall.  The service includes the ground-breaking Wyre Forest Maternity Hub, based at Kidderminster Hospital, which recently won the Innovation Award at the Midlands Maternity and Midwifery Festival Awards. One of our student midwives, Marie Rivett, also won national MAMA Breastfeeding Champion of the Year award.

“In further recognition for our women and children’s division, the CQC have also improved their rating of the care we provide for children and young people.

“We also welcome the improved ratings for our diagnostic imaging services. Colleagues in this team have made huge progress in reducing waiting times for vital test results and cleared a major backlog in X-rays.

“Not only has this enabled the CQC to lift an improvement notice which dates back to August 2016, it has also prompted a number of other Trusts facing similar challenges to contact us for advice on how to tackle the problem.

“Our improved rating for ‘Well Led’ is also consistent with positive comments from staff, highlighted in the report, about the difference that a stable leadership team is now starting to make in terms of our focus on quality and safety and our efforts to make staff feel valued and supported.

“We would like to thank all colleagues for their dedication and commitment, which they have maintained despite the unprecedented operational pressures we have faced through winter, and into the spring.

“We know there is much more we need to do, and this report confirms that. We recently published our new Trustwide Quality Improvement Strategy, which sets out in some detail how we will build on what we have already achieved and set

ourselves challenging targets for further improvement. This strategy is supported by detailed plans focussing on the key areas of patient safety, clinical effectiveness and patient, carer and community engagement.

“It is widely recognised, not just by the Trust but also by those organisations which regulate and inspect us, that one of our biggest problems is flow through our hospitals. We are implementing a series of strategies to improve this aspect of our services, while we await the increased acute bed capacity that the capital funding will bring to the Worcester site. 

“The good news is that work has already started on the long awaited link bridge which will connect the main Worcestershire Royal Hospital building with the neighbouring Aconbury block. This will give us easier access to additional beds in refurbished wards as early as the fourth quarter of 2018/19 subject to the release of the funds we need.

“While that work is under way, we are also focussed on making sure that we can attract, and keep, the best staff with the skills and approach needed to help us meet the challenges we face.  As well as improving outcomes for patients, this will help us to reduce our reliance on costly agency or locum staff, and make a significant contribution to our financial recovery plan.

“Everyone in our Trust, from ward to Board, understands the challenges which we still face on our improvement journey and we share the desire of our inspection and regulatory bodies, as well as people in our local communities, to see progress continue to be made quickly and sustained.

“We welcome the recognition from the CQC of the positive impact that a stable leadership team is starting to have. Our aim is to prove over the next few months - to ourselves and to local people – that we can continue to move this Trust in the right direction as we press ahead with our service improvements and our 4ward culture change programme which will support our efforts to become a high performing organisation.”