Leicester's Hospitals 'require improvement' following inspection

The Trust which runs Leicester's hospitals has been told it must make improvements following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust was rated as "requires improvement" following a series of inspections in June 2016.

Urgent & Emergency Services, Medical Care, Surgery, Critical Care, Maternity and Gynaecology, Children & Young People, End of Life Care, Outpatients and Diagnostic Imaging were each rated in five different areas.

Inspectors said the trust was "good" for caring overall in all departments but it need to improve safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership in some areas.

The trust keeps the same rating as it had in April 2014 following a previous inspection, but inspectors said improvements had been made since then.

Children's Heart Surgery Unit based at Glenfield Hospital was Credit: ITV News

Although we found poor performance during our inspection, the trust recognised it needed to make improvements to how it managed the care of deteriorating patients and sepsis. Evidence we have received since our inspection shows the trust’s improvement plans are having an impact. Inspectors observed some areas of good practice and found patents were treated with kindness, dignity and respect. Staff commented on the positive culture change in the trust under the current Chief Executive’s leadership.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards
A&E here has experienced unprecedented demand recently. Credit: ITV News

Some areas were praised for their outstanding work including an activities facilitator who had dinner with a patient refusing to eat on one ward.

The staff member told inspectors that by making the meal a social event they hoped the patient would eat.

Oncology was also praised for providing a 24-hour helpline for patients.

We were also honest with the CQC about the challenges that we face. We told them that we are steadily improving quality whilst dealing with large increases in demand. That we were working better with our partners to tackle longstanding strategic issues such as emergency care, and that along the way we were building a more empowered culture. All these things are reflected in the CQC report.

John Adler, Leicester’s Hospitals Chief Executive

The report said “Although the overall rating we gave the trust in this inspection was the same as they were awarded in their 2014 inspection, we did find improvements had been made. These were particularly evident in staff engagement and confidence in the leadership team.”

The Trust will be required to explain to the CQC how it intends to improve and will submit these plans by 16th February.

There will be follow up inspections to ensure improvements are made.