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Kettering General Hospital to be taken out of special measures

Kettering General Hospital will be taken out of special measures. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Kettering General Hospital is to be taken out of special measures after inspectors found improvements had been made.

The trust was rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in October 2016.

However, in his latest report in February, England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has now rated Kettering as ‘requires improvement’.

Professor Ted Baker, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “Our return to Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust showed further improvement had taken place and previous improvements had been maintained.

"This is why I am recommending to NHS Improvement that the trust now comes out of special measures."

The trust has been told it must still make a number of improvements. This includes:

  • In urgent and emergency services the trust must ensure that patients receive initial assessment and observations in a timely manner in line with national standards.
  • Nursing risk assessments and safety checklists must be completed.
  • Children and their families must not wait to be seen for treatment in an adult environment.
  • Pain relief must be administered in a timely manner and pain must be re-assessed after receiving pain relief medicines at regular intervals.
  • All staff follow the trust infection prevention and control policy regarding hand hygiene procedures.
  • Medicines cancelled on medicine charts are appropriately signed and dated at the time of cancellation
  • All complaints must be managed in line with trust policies.
Kettering General Hospital has been rated as 'requires improvement'. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Professor Baker added: “At our October 2016 inspection, the overall rating for the trust was Inadequate with two of the five key questions we ask, safe and well-led, also being rated as Inadequate. Since then - during both our inspection in November 2017 and our most recent inspection - we have found steady improvement being made at the trust, with the support it has received through being in special measures.

“As a result of the inspection the trust’s leadership is now rated as Good. We found the trust had managers with the right skills and abilities and there was a mix of experience within the executive directors.

“There was a clear vision and strategy developed with staff and the executive team and that managers promoted a positive culture which supported and valued staff, creating a sense of common purpose based on the trust’s shared values.

“There were improvements in the majority of the core services we inspected. Maternity services and diagnostic imaging’s overall ratings improved and are both now rated as Good and, although more work is needed, we found improvements in urgent and emergency services which is now rated as Requires Improvement overall.

“Our inspectors found a dedicated staff at the trust who had worked hard to ensure improvements were made and they witnessed aspects of outstanding care in the maternity service. In diagnostic imaging, significant improvements had been achieved resulting in considerable reduction to the reporting backlog found at the last inspection. This meant results were now available in a timely way.

“However, there is still work to be done in ensuring people always receive the treatment and care they should be able to expect. The trust board knows what it needs to do now and we will return to check on their progress with improvements at the trust.”

  • Inspectors also found examples of outstanding practice at the trust, notably in the maternity service where women using the service were supported to live healthier lives and manage their own health, care and well-being.

Kettering General Hospital’s Chief Executive, Simon Weldon, said: “I am really pleased that the CQC has recognised the progress that we’ve made with the recommendation that the Trust should exit special measures.

“I would like to thank all staff for their commitment over the past year – this achievement really belongs to them.

“I also acknowledge the further challenges ahead. I know there is more hard work that we need to do to continue our journey and the CQC has clearly set out the issues that we need to address.