South Tees Hospitals Trust rated as 'good' by CQC after 'significant improvements' made

Sue Page, chief executive of South Tees Hospitals, said she was proud of the progress that had been made. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A watchdog has said "significant improvements" have been made to the quality of care provided by a hospital trust.

South Tees Hospital trust has been rated as "good" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), an improvement on previous inspections when it was rated as requiring improvement.

It means a warning notice placed on the hospitals is no longer active.

The inspection looked at critical care services and urgent and emergency care at The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, and medical wards, including services for older people, and surgery at both this hospital and Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

The inspection took place in November 2022 and January 2023. The trust's last full inspection was four years ago, in 2019, before start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The trust runs The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, Northallerton’s Friarage Hospital and community services in Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough and North Yorkshire.

In every interaction the inspectors observed during their inspection, the CQC said that staff were kind to each other, and their patients.

Inspectors also upgraded the trust's rating for leadership at the organisation to "good".

What did the inspection find?

  • Critical care at The James Cook University Hospital has improved from requires improvement to good. How effective, responsive and well-led it is has also moved from requires improvement to good. Safety has improved from inadequate to good, and caring was again rated as good.

  • Urgent and emergency services at The James Cook University Hospital was again rated as good overall, and for how effective, caring and well-led the service is. How safe the service is has also improved from requires improvement to good, however how responsive the service is, moves down from good to requires improvement.

  • Medical care at both hospitals was again rated as requires improvement. Caring, responsive and well-led were again rated as good, safe and effective were again rated as requires improvement.

  • Surgery was again rated as good overall at both hospitals with how well-led the services were improving from requires improvement to good. The service at both hospitals was again rated as good for being safe, effective, caring, and responsive.

Sue Page CBE, chief executive at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am incredibly proud of all our staff. This achievement is a testament to their dedication and hard work.

“It has been a team effort and I am honoured to lead such a fantastic group of teams and individuals.

"Together, they have all achieved something truly special, and we will continue to build on this progress for our fantastic patients and service users in the years to come."

She added: “We will not be resting on our laurels. There is still lots more work to do, and we are committed to working tirelessly to carry on raising our standards in collaboration with our fantastic partners and communities as we continue to recover together from the huge effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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