17,000 reasons why inspectors have rated Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust as ‘Good’ overall and ‘Outstanding’ for many of its services.

Thanks to the hard work and commitment of 17,000 staff and volunteers, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been given an overall rating of ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) with many services rated as ‘Outstanding.’

This means the Trust is rated as one of the top 20% of NHS Hospital Trusts and one of only a few to have achieved Good or Outstanding in every one of the five domains which the Care Quality Commission use to rate a NHS organisation.

The rating for providing Responsive services has been raised to ‘Outstanding’ and almost half of the ratings from the Trust’s previous inspection in 2015 have also gone up.

The report, published today (14 November 2018) highlighted Critical Care, Maternity and Gynaecology, Community Health Services, Outpatients and Diagnostic Imaging plus Community Dental Services as ‘Outstanding.’

The Care Quality Commission has also published the Trust’s Use of Resources report, which is based on an assessment undertaken by NHS Improvement. The Trust has been rated as Good for using its resources productively and efficiently.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals runs the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospitals as well as Weston Park Cancer Hospital, Charles Clifford Dental Hospital and the Jessop Wing Maternity Hospital. The Trust also provides a wide range of community health services to people across Sheffield.

Care Quality Inspectors visited the Trust’s hospital and community based services in June 2018 and spoke to patients, carers, and staff of all levels.

In their report, Inspectors said that:

“Patients, relatives and carers gave consistently positive feedback. They told us they felt safe and we observed several examples of compassionate care with staff treating patients with kindness, dignity and respect. There was evidence of good multidisciplinary working throughout the Trust and patients and their families said to us they were involved in discussions about their care and treatment, those nearing discharge were also kept up to date with plans around discharge. We also found evidence of good engagement with patients and carers, staff and local organisations to plan and manage services. There was effective collaborative working with partner organisations.”

The report recognises that there is a strong safety culture across the Trust with a well-established culture of continuous quality improvement. The Trust’s PROUD values were also understood and owned across the full range of staff groups.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said:

“There has been some outstanding work done at the Trust in response to patient needs – particularly the work in end of life care and the way the Trust supports patients to get early access to services. Patients we spoke to were entirely positive about the way their care needs were met. We found clear evidence of a knowledgeable and steady leadership who are committed to continual improvement.”

The report states that in the Trusts annual end of life survey 85% of respondents rated the care given to their loved ones in the last days to hours of life as excellent or good and that inspectors saw numerous examples of how staff provided support to patients receiving care at the end of life.

Carers were also supported as much as possible to stay with their loved ones by offering beds and flexible visiting times.

The Trust’s waiting times were also noted as being some of the best in the NHS and that patient and feedback scores were also very high.

Kirsten Major, Interim Chief Executive at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“All our staff and volunteers work so hard to do their best for patients and so I am pleased that this has been reflected in the Good rating and the Outstanding rating for so many services. We have further increased our rating in 40% of the areas inspected which is an incredible achievement given we have treated more patents than ever before this year and continued providing high quality care through one of the harshest Winters we have seen for some years. Our waiting times have remained some of the best in the NHS and our patient satisfaction rate remains high. This is testament to our fantastic teams who work in our hospitals and community services. I am very proud and privileged to work with such amazing people including our 700 plus volunteers. Every one of them contributes to providing high quality care, no matter what role they have or at what level.

The report highlights some innovative and outstanding care and that comes from our staff being committed to continuous improvement in all that we do. The report does highlight some areas where we can improve and indeed many of these are already being actioned.

For example we are continuing to work with the Council and health partners to ensure patients are able to leave hospital as soon as they are medically fit. The Care Quality Commission said they had already seen an improvement in delayed discharges but we have some more work to do as a City and they also acknowledged the improvement in our waiting times in A&E but again we want to do even better.

We are of course disappointed about the overall CQC rating for Weston Park Hospital given how hard our staff work, but it is pleasing that the ratings for being safe, caring and responsive were all Good or Outstanding. The three services provided by Weston Park – Medical care, outpatients and diagnostics and end of life care were all rated Good or Outstanding. We consistently receive positive feedback from patients which is also reflected in the report and the CQC report acknowledges lots of developments which have happened over the past 2 years. We do accept that we have some further work to do on particular non clinical systems and processes which we are progressing. Once complete we believe the next inspection will result in an overall Good rating or better.”

Tony Pedder, Chairman of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust added:

“We really do have 17,000 reasons why we have achieved such a positive rating from the Care Quality Commission. Every one of our staff and volunteers make our organisation what it is and we are very fortunate to have some of the best people in the NHS working in our hospitals and community services. Proud, caring, compassionate and prepared to go the extra mile are just some of the words used by the CQC about our teams and the care they give to patients every single day.”

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