Warrington and Halton Hospitals

CQC inspections, performance and ratings

There are many standards - which are set nationally, regionally, locally and internally – that help you to assess that we provide the best possible care and experience for our patients.

On this page we provide information and links to the latest ratings and reports about our hospitals. Where possible we provide external web links to the reports produced by other organisations about us.

CQC ratingCare Quality Commission - ratings and reports

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the body responsible for checking that all hospitals in England and Wales meet national standards.

CQC hospital inspections

The CQC also perform hospital inspections that check standards and that we are treating patients with respect, involving patients in their care, caring for people safely and protecting them from harm. Inspections also look at staffing. These inspections can be unannounced inspections where the trust has no notice of the CQC visiting or themed inspections looking at particular areas.

All trusts also now receive a comprehensive CQC inspection of services where a team of inspectors come for a longer period of time and look at all services across a hospital trust.

Our comprehensive inspection took place in January 2015 and the results were published in July 2015.

The inspectors spent two full days in the trust's hospitals and community services followed by unannounced follow up visits to areas in February. As part of this inspection, patients and the public were invited to give their feedback and views on the care and services that we provide.

Comprehensive inspection results - requires improvement overall rating

The CQC rated Halton Hospital as good, Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre (in Warrington where several clinic services are provided) as good and Warrington Hospital as requires improvement. They rated caring and effectiveness in the trust as good across the board in all of its services.

The trust was given an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ by the CQC although inspectors found services were caring, effective and did not observe any examples of unsafe practice during their visit. The trust has already actioned many of the recommendations made by the CQC which include improvements to patient flow and strengthening staffing in key areas where there were long term vacancies.

England’s chief inspector of hospitals Professor Mike Richards reported that inspectors found that ‘Staff were committed and passionate about their work, keen to learn and continuously improve the services they offered to patients. There was good leadership and strengthening governance arrangements across the trust. Nursing staff were caring and compassionate and treated patients and those close to them with dignity and respect. Nurses were committed to giving people a high standard of care and treatment.’

The CQC spent two full days inspecting the trust’s sites in January as part of their comprehensive inspection regime. These inspections take in every NHS trust in the country. Many areas of good practice were cited in the report including:

  • Nursing care- Nursing staff were caring and compassionate and treated patients and those close to them with dignity and respect. Nurses were committed to giving people a high standard of care and treatment
  • Medical staffing- Medical treatment was delivered by skilled and committed medical staff.
  • Dementia care– The report highlighted excellent practice in the treatment of dementia. The hospital had a purpose built and highly effective ward for patients living with dementia, which was well equipped and well-staffed. Patients with dementia were assessed and admitted to the ward based on the severity of their dementia and managed sensitively
  • Cleanliness and infection control- There was a high standard of cleanliness throughout the hospitals. Staff were aware of current infection prevention and control guidelines and observed good practice.
  • Nutrition and hydration- Patients had a choice of nutritious food and an ample supply of drinks during their stay in hospital.

However the report did raise several areas that the trust needs to make improvements around. Patient flow due to the pressure caused by emergency admissions was highlighted in the report. Inspectors noted the impact it had on patients at the time in terms of waiting. The trust has addressed this as a priority with its partners in health and social care and has improved its A&E performance since January with a return towards the 95% national A&E target – reaching over 94% in June. Intermediate care beds have opened on the Warrington Hospital site that have improved patient flow.

Inspectors also highlighted staffing vacancies in key areas, particularly in medical staffing where the trust has struggled to recruit to some posts where there are national shortages and was dependent on locum staff. However, inspectors noted that all wards and departments were suitably staffed at the time of the inspection. This continues to be a key area of priority for the trust.

The trust has also prioritised improving mandatory training compliance across its clinical divisions which was seen as variable in places.

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