Press release: October 16 2018
A Care Quality Commission (CQC) report published today, Wednesday, October 17, has confirmed that a raft of improvements at Wye Valley NHS Trust means better quality of care and improved experiences for patients.
A team of inspectors visited the Trust during the summer to observe procedures, interview patients and staff and check policies, processes and governance at the Trust.
"We thank the Care Quality Commission for its thorough and detailed report and believe this is an accurate reflection of where the Trust is on its improvement journey," said chief executive Glen Burley.
The report recommends that the Trust retains its current rating - "Requires Improvement" - while acknowledging the many areas that have seen improvements since the previous inspection in 2016.
"The inspectors' report demonstrates we've made good progress in many areas within our control and we're particularly pleased that they’ve highlighted the great work by our staff caring for children and young people which they have rated as 'outstanding'.
"Four of our eight core services at Hereford County Hospital are now rated as 'good' and throughout the report the inspectors acknowledge that the level of care our patients can expect from our amazing team of staff is also 'good'.”
Within the Trust’s community services, half of the core services were rated “good” with the others requiring improvement.
"We acknowledge there's still lots to do as we aspire to become a Trust rated delivering outstanding care,” added Glen.
"The CQC has rightly challenged our waiting times for elective care and we are tackling this while seeking the necessary funding from our commissioners.
"Some of these delays are due to the county's health and care system, but they are compounded by a limited number of beds which have to be used for those most in need when we experience the increased demand on our services every winter.
"To tackle these system-wide pressures we need a system-wide approach and we are already looking at new ways of working with local health and care service providers and commissioners to explore how we can better configure ourselves to provide care based on patients' needs rather than around our own structures."
The report rates the Trust’s use of resources as “inadequate”. This is based on an assessment by NHS Improvement and reflects the financial position of the Trust.
Despite making saving of £9 million last year, the Trust recorded a deficit of £26 million. It is currently making a case to NHSI and NHSE to be paid at a higher rate than the national standard tariff in recognition of the structural challenges that the local health care system faces. It is estimated that this “structural deficit” – which takes into account the fixed costs of delivering acute healthcare to a relatively small population in a large rural area – amounts to around £25 million a year.
The report also highlights urgent care as a particular challenge for the Trust.
"We've made improvements in this area and are currently planning for the arrival of a 24-bedded ward which will sit alongside our Emergency Department and be open by the end of the year.
"This medical assessment unit will help us assess patients who come in through ED to ensure they receive the right kind of care in the most appropriate way.
"We also have plans to replace our old hutted wards – the replacements should be open in 2020.
"This is an exciting time for the Trust with more beds, different ways of working and a new collaborative approach with our health and care colleagues across Herefordshire.
“Underpinning the many improvements is the evolution of the buddy arrangements with South Warwickshire NHS FT into a Foundation Group which now includes the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust. This has brought the organisations together in a unique way allowing the sharing of best practice and giving a bigger resource to draw from to support our staff as we seek to improve services.
“This report acknowledges the many improvements we've made, but rightly points out there is still more to do."
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Amanda Millichip/Fiona Gurney, Communications officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.