Hospitals still require improvement

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has told Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust that improvements still need to be made in relation to staff training, adequate record keeping, as well as reducing overnight discharges.

Ratings at the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury (published 9th March 2018)

A team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited Pembury and Maidstone Hospitals to check the quality of five core services: urgent and emergency care, medical care, surgery, critical care and services for children and young people.  There were 12 separate visits, carried out collectively by 81 inspectors between 18th October 2017 and 1st February 2018.

Since January 2016, the NHS Trust has run the Crowborough Birthing Centre.  Inspectors did not visit Crowborough Hospital nor did they inspect maternity and gynaecology at Pembury Hospital or the Maidstone Birth Centre.

End of life care, outpatients and diagnostic imaging were also not inspected on this occasion.   The CQC have said they are monitoring the progress of improvements to these services and will re-inspect them as required.

The CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals Amanda Stanford said:

Since our last inspection in 2015 Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS trust has worked to make significant improvements especially in the well-led domain which is reflected in the improved rating. Inspectors also identified numerous areas of outstanding practice in four of the core services inspected throughout the trust.

There are still improvements to be made however in relation to staff training, adequate record keeping, as well as reducing overnight discharges.

Whilst acknowledging the progress made by the trust since our last inspection, we will continue to monitor the services involved to ensure there is progress on implementing the required improvements.

While the CQC has rated Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust as ‘Requires Improvement’ for now, the Trust is closing in on a ‘Good’ rating.

The Trust’s Chief Executive, Miles Scott, said:

We are pleased that the CQC noted a number of significant improvements at the Trust, as well as some outstanding practice. We are hugely encouraged that the inspectors recognised that we put quality at the heart of everything we do, and that we have improved numerous areas of patient care while managing a difficult operational and financial positon, and also at a time of unprecedented demand across the NHS as a whole.

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’.

Our top priority will always be to provide best possible service to our patients and we look forward to working with the CQC in the future to build on the strong foundations already in place, to continually strive for improvement across all areas.

Click to download a copy of the Care Quality Commission’s full report on Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

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