Trust retains Good rating from the Care Quality Commission

Posted: May 21 2020

Trust retains Good rating from the Care Quality Commission


Services at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) have once again been rated as Good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the organisation which monitors, inspects and regulates health and social care services in England. The rating follows a planned inspection of HCT services in September 2018. A copy of the full report is available on the CQC website

The rating follows a routine inspection of HCT’s services in February and March of this year. The CQC rates services under five domains, determining whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. Following its inspection in September 2018, the CQC rated HCT’s services as Good for being effective, caring, responsive and well led, but gave a rating of Requires improvement for safety.

Clare Hawkins, Chief Executive of HCT, said: “We are very pleased to have retained our rating of Good from the CQC once again. The result comes after a particularly busy period for HCT – one where we saw the transfer of our community adult services in West Hertfordshire to another NHS Trust, the implementation of our new Trust strategy, vision, values and objectives, changes to our Trust Board, and most recently the incredible way that everyone has responded to the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, something none of us could have predicted. Our Board and executive team are rightly very proud of our teams and of everything they have achieved.”

The CQC team praised HCT staff for their professionalism, care and dedication, with the lead inspector commenting that the passion of all staff to deliver good quality care was particularly impressive.

The inspection report highlights a number of areas of good practice, including:
• Staff understanding of how to protect patients from abuse and effective working with other agencies around adult safeguarding
• Completing and updating risk assessments for patients and removing or minimising risks
• Monitoring of the effectiveness of care and treatment
• Good management of patient safety incidents, including recognising and reporting incidents and near misses
• Good use of monitoring results to improve safety, including the collecting and sharing of safety information with colleagues, patients and the public
• Staff working together as a team to benefit patients
• Giving patients practical support and advice to lead healthier lives

The CQC also highlighted two areas of outstanding practice:
• Our progress chasers in our community inpatient units and how these colleagues help support rapid resolutions, for example to patients’ care package requirements
• The knowledge and practice of our safeguarding leads which the inspectors described as exemplary and with excellent feedback from our stakeholders

There are however areas identified by the CQC where we still need to make improvements, including:
• Ensuring our in-patient teams always administer medicines in line with best practice
• Managers having oversight of clinical supervision to ensure we always comply with our target
• Ensuring staff have easy access to laboratory tests and x-ray results
• Implementing appropriate equality and diversity network groups across all protected characteristics
• Implementing Trust strategies covering workforce, equality and diversity, and patient and carer experience and involvement

Clare said: “We fully recognise the areas where the CQC have told us that we need to make improvements. We responded in early March to the CQC’s initial findings and actions and are now working on an action plan to address the findings in the full report.”

Linda Sheridan, Acting Chair of HCT, added: “It is very heartening to receive a rating of Good for our services from the CQC once again. The way in which our teams have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic has been nothing short of remarkable, with many colleagues working in entirely different ways and in different services to continue to provide care for our many patients and service users. The inspection result is a real endorsement of their commitment. We are also fortunate to work with our many partners across the health, social care and voluntary sectors in Hertfordshire and West Essex and I also want to thank them for their continued support.”


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