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Chief Inspector of Hospitals rates Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust as Good


England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust as Good following a CQC inspection.

A team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the trust during November and December 2018 to check the quality of three core services - surgery, maternity and community in-patients. CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well led?

As a result of this inspection the trust is now rated as Good for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. Overall, the trust is now rated as Good.

Frimley Park Hospital still retains its overall Outstanding rating. Wexham Park Hospital is still rated as Good overall.

CQC has also published the trust's Use of Resources report, which is based on an assessment undertaken by NHS Improvement. The trust has been rated as Good for using its resources productively.

You can read the latest reports in full here: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RDU, once the report has been published on the CQC website.

Dr Nigel Acheson, CQC's Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals for the south, said:

"This is the first large-scale inspection we have undertaken of this trust as a whole since Frimley Park acquired Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2014.

"Our inspectors found a strong patient-centred culture with staff committed to keeping their patients safe, and encouraging them to be independent. In return patients and relatives spoke highly of staff and how they were informed of treatment plans, and how these would affect them.

"It is no secret that over the last year Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust has faced particular challenges. There have been too many never events in that time and we know there have also been staff shortages in maternity wards. We are aware that the new chief executive and leadership team have picked up these issues, but at the time of the inspection these improvements although implemented were not yet fully embedded. We will return again to inspect further improvements in the near future"

CQC visited surgery to check the trust's progress in response to requirement notices from a focussed inspection in 2018 which took place after a number of never events had been reported in that year. Inspectors found that the necessary improvements were now in place. Theatre staff were now carrying out the World Health organisation (WHO) 'Five Steps to Safer Surgery' and all steps of the process were fully completed. This was an improvement on the previous focussed inspection. Staff treated patients with compassion and dignity while encouraging them to be independent and involved in their recovery after surgery.

Within maternity services, inspectors found the trust did not always have enough midwives to meet recommended staffing levels on shifts. The trust's ratio of one midwife to every 31.7 births was worse than the England average of one midwife to every 25.7 births. Midwifery staffing levels often did not meet the expected levels determined by the nationally recognised maternity acuity tool the trust used. The leadership team were working to eliminate the risk while at the same time trying to provide services in a way that met the needs of the local people.

In it's first overall inspection community inpatient services was rated as Good. The lead consultant worked in the community as well as the ward and had close relationships with medical and social care teams within the region. The ward held weekly multi-team meetings and ward staff worked closely with community and district nursing teams, social care providers and other services to ensure timely discharge and continuity across inpatient and primary care.

Inspectors found the trust leadership was experienced, visible and approachable. The new chief executive had given his view of the challenges that faced the trust after his first 100 days in post. All staff understood these challenges which were further reinforced by visits to wards by executive and non-executive directors.




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