West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust ‘requires improvement’ following latest CQC inspection

The Care Quality Commission has rated the West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as ‘requires improvement’ following it’s latest inspection.

West Suffolk Hospital – Photo Credit John Fielding (flickr.com/photos/john_fielding)

The rating comes on the back of recent criticism that the Hospital has faced following mistakes made in patients care. The government has now ordered an inquiry over trust’s handling of the issue.

The recent report released today has rated 42 areas of the trust as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, 11 as ‘requires improvement’, and one as ‘inadequate’.


Speaking to RWSfm Chief executive of the Trust Dr Stephen Dunn apologies for the mistakes but has committed to improving the required areas.

Chief executive Dr Stephen Dunn

Chief executive Dr Stephen Dunn said: “We are clearly disappointed, as this is not the standard that our patients and community deserve.

“We must continue to quickly and effectively fix the issues raised in this report. We’ve addressed the immediate safety concerns and the Trust has taken action – including the introduction of nationally recognised monitoring for women and their babies. We’ve listened to what the CQC has said and getting things right for our patients is our top priority.”

The CQC rated the Trust overall as ‘good’ for being effective and caring, and ‘requires improvement’ for being responsive, well-led, and safe. Of the Trust’s individual service ratings, 42 are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, 11 are rated as ‘requires improvement’, and one is rated as ‘inadequate’.

The CQC inspectors found that Trust staff across the board: ‘treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their conditions’, and that they ‘gave patients and those close to them help, emotional support and advice when they needed it to minimise their distress.’

Steve added: “While we acknowledge and accept the areas of concern this report highlights, the CQC has rated many of the Trust’s services as good or outstanding and found that NHS teams across the board treated patients with compassion and respect, and we’re pleased our hardworking staff have been recognised.”

However, the report also signals areas where improvement is needed, including some areas not fully managing infection risks, medicines management or record keeping well enough, and staff not always feeling able to raise concerns.

Trust chair Sheila Childerhouse said: “Although inspectors reflected that we ‘promoted an open culture’ and had ‘visible and approachable’ leaders, it is clear that in some areas our staff are not feeling as supported as they should be.  We appreciate and value our staff and know their knowledge and expertise will be at the heart of addressing some of the problems the CQC has identified. We will be reviewing our culture and openness to make sure there is an environment where everyone – including our patients, our staff and our commissioners – has an opportunity to contribute and play a full part in our improvement.

“I am still immensely proud of the work our staff do, every day, to care for people in their time of need. We will make the improvements required.”

Community services – which were inspected for the first time as part of the Trust – were rated as good overall, and with inspectors highlighting areas of ‘outstanding practice’ in health services for children and young people.

The CQC made seven visits across September and October 2019, spoke to 70 patients and 237 staff, and reviewed 135 patient records.

The CQC sought action on things the Trust must do in 32 areas. The Trust is developing a robust improvement plan, and progress on this will be formally monitored at the Trust Board and reported back to the CQC.

The full report of the CQC’s findings will be published publicly on the CQC’s website today (30 January, 2020): https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RGR