The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that the care provided at Newham Hospital is much improved, with more than a third of services now rated as good.
Following an inspection in November 2016 inspectors have acknowledged ‘substantial evidence’ of continual improvements to services, and significant progress has been made in a number of areas compared to an inspection in May 2015.
And further major improvements have taken place since the inspectors visited five months ago.
At the beginning of the year electronic baby tagging was successfully launched in the hospital’s maternity unit, boosting security and offering additional reassurance to new mums. With the appointment of 55 additional midwives, and a national award for the maternity service, the improvements have been significant.
Medical care has improved in every CQC category to leap from a rating of ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’, surgery is also now rated ‘good’ and the overall hospital position has risen to ‘requires improvement’ since its previous rating of ‘inadequate’.
An overall positive picture of care was evident to the inspectors following many discussions with our patients" — Alwen Williams, Chief Executive
The CQC said it observed kind and compassionate care, with patients saying they are happy with the care they receive and describing staff as friendly and caring.
Inspectors also noted several areas of outstanding practice including innovative measures to ensure patients can access services that they need, and 24/7 social care to support the safe discharge of vulnerable patients.
Alwen Williams, chief executive at Barts Health NHS Trust said: “I am pleased that the positive progress at Newham Hospital has been acknowledged by the CQC, and I am proud of our staff who were described as doing their best to ensure they provide the best care. An overall positive picture of care was evident to the inspectors following many discussions with our patients and the views of our staff who said the culture and morale is much improved.
“The CQC also rightly observed areas where we still have work to do, and I am sorry for instances where we have let patients down. Since the CQC visited in November we have achieved much. We opened our new children’s Rainbow Centre in February and we are now using electronic baby tagging which is working successfully to keep babies safe and secure. We are committed to continuing on our journey of improvement knowing we are solidly heading in the right direction.”
Since the CQC inspectors visited, staff have taken action to quickly address specific concerns raised. Their actions include:
- Clearing a backlog of incidents in maternity, and encouraging learning through regular meetings and newsletters to share action points across a range of services.
- Children are receiving effective pain relief on our newly opened £6.8 children’s centre, and specialist equipment has been purchased to enable staff to provide a wider range of medications.
- Earlier this year the maternity department beat national competition to be awarded by The Royal College of Midwives for an innovative project providing women with greater choice about where they give birth and a named midwife to improve continuity of care.
- All patients at the end of their life will have documented care plans and be supported in their preferred place of death. This builds on work that saw the hospital’s specialist palliative care team provide care for 97% of patients at the end of their life within 24 hours of referral.
Steve Gilvin, Chief Officer at NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “It is clear that Barts Health has made considerable progress in improving the quality of care at Newham University Hospital, in a number of areas, for the people of Newham. The CCG is pleased to see that the CQC has recognised this improvement since the initial inspection.
“These improvements are as a result of a lot of hard work from the Newham hospital staff and the commitment of Barts Health to address the CQC’s concerns. We have seen that the staff at Newham hospital have been committed to providing safe and compassionate care and making the improvements required.
“The CCG remains committed to working with the Trust to support improvement in the areas that require further work to ensure that patients receive the same high standards of safe and compassionate care, across all the hospital’s services.”
Steve Russell, executive managing director for NHS Improvement (London), commented: "Staff and patients should be proud of the progress Newham Hospital has made over the past two years, and today’s improved rating from the CQC will resonate with patients, who report they are happy with the care they receive from ‘friendly and caring’ staff. Barts Health, which runs the hospital, will be the first to insist there is still more work to do, which is why further progress has delivered improvements even since the CQC inspection was carried out. For example, children and their families using the new Rainbow Centre which opened in February will have first-hand experience of the trust’s huge commitment to continual improvement, while the electronic tagging system for newborn babies, which was developed with feedback from new parents and staff, is another example of the trust’s responsiveness to patients and commitment to continual improvement.
"The significant improvements in organisational culture and morale since previous inspections have created a strong platform for services and staff at Newham General not only to deliver the progress identified by today’s CQC publication, but also to provide a firm foundation for future improvement, with the full support of NHS Improvement."
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Barts Health NHS Trust
With a turnover of £1.4 billion and a workforce of around 16,000, Barts Health is the largest NHS trust in the country, and one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers. The Trust’s five hospitals – St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City, including the Barts Heart Centre, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Newham University Hospital in Plaistow, Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone and Mile End – deliver high quality compassionate care to the 2.5 million people of East London and beyond.