Tunbridge Wells Hospital still ‘requires improvement’ – says CQC report

Pam Mills

Key areas of Tunbridge Wells Hospital have been rated as needing ‘improvement’ following the latest Care Quality Commission [CQC] inspection.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust [MTW] was found to be below standard in three of the five key areas of inspection.

Last week, the report listed as ‘Requires Improvement’ the areas of providing a ‘Safe’, ‘Effective’ and ‘Responsive’ institution.

MTW also received a ‘Good’ rating for being a ‘Caring’ and ‘Well-led’ organisation but this did not see the Trust receive a higher overall rating than the ‘Requires Improvement’ it was given in 2015.

Trust leaders took the positives from the result with 17 ‘should do’ actions required, compared to 52 in 2015.
There are no longer any ‘must do’ actions, which shows the 18 serious problems previously identified by the CQC have been solved.

The Trust appointed experienced NHS leader Miles Scott as their Chief Executive in January with the hope of improving performance.

Mr Scott said: “We are pleased the CQC noted a number of significant improvements at the Trust, as well as some outstanding practice.

“We have improved numerous areas of patient care while managing a difficult operational and financial positon, and also at a time of unprecedented demand.

“We know we have come a long way since our last inspection and I’d like to thank our staff for their unwavering commitment to their patients and the Trust.

“During their visits, the CQC inspectors praised staff on numerous occasions for their friendly and welcoming attitudes, and their shared vision and engagement.

“We are looking forward to moving confidently towards a ‘Good’ rating, and looking further ahead, towards ‘Outstanding’.”

MTW also manages Maidstone Hospital and Crowborough Birthing Centre, with the result combining inspections of all three facilities.

During the course of 12 separate visits, carried out collectively by 81 inspectors, five core services at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals were inspected between October 18 and February 1.

David Highton, Trust Chairman, said: “This CQC report clearly shows marked improvements across all areas, which is excellent news for the Trust.

“The Trust will move forward with confidence to continue its journey of improvement into the future.”

The 17 improvement factors which should be actioned included: Implementing systems to improve surgery, critical care and services to children.

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