Standards at Colchester Hospital have improved so much that England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended it is taken out of special measures following a Care Quality Commission inspection.
The hospital has been rated as 'good' in the majority of areas by the CQC. Staff have been told that they have significantly improved the care they are providing.
The inspection took place in July 2017 and now the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust is rated as Requires Improvement overall, as well as for whether services are safe and responsive. It is also rated as Good for whether services are effective, caring and well-led.
Following the previous inspection in 2016 fifteen areas were rated 'inadequate', now in 2017 there are none, the report found.
Inspectors found a number of areas of outstanding practice at the trust:
- The Trust has the only dedicated children's transition team in the region which other Trusts sought advice from.
- The transition team worked with other teams to meet complex needs of patients at the age of transitioning to other services.
- The neonatal unit was piloting a 'discharge passport' to empower parent involvement for discharge of babies.
The CQC has told the Trust it needs to make the following improvements:
- Nursing and medical staff must complete all safeguarding and mandatory training, including basic life support.
- All equipment must be maintained and fit for purpose.
- Initial assessments within the emergency department must be undertaken and documented to maintain an accurate clinical record.
- To ensure access to a designated mental health assessment room.
- Action to be taken to ensure patients are clinically risk assessed as safe to wait for outpatient appointments.
- Medical records must contain risk assessments.
- Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation decisions must be taken in line with national guidance.
- Layout of paediatric emergency department must ensure patient safety.
- Effective governance and risk management framework for emergency department.
- Patients dignity to be protected in X-ray and risk assessments for unnecessary exposure to radiation.
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, with the Colchester MP Will Quince by his side, posted his reaction on Twitter.