CQC rates Airedale Hospital 'Requires Improvement' and raises staffing concerns
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published the report following its inspection of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust earlier this year. The inspection rated the Trust's services as 'Requires Improvement'.
A team of inspectors has found that the trust provided services that were caring, effective and responsive but needed improvement to be safe and well led.
CQC inspected Airedale NHS Foundation Trust from 15 -18 March 2016 and undertook two further unannounced inspections on 31 March 2016 and 11 May 2016. Included in this inspection were Airedale General Hospital and Castleberg Hospital, near Settle and the trust’s community services including Coronation Hospital in Ilkley and Skipton Hospital.
Inspectors had concerns about the reporting and management of incidents, particularly within the critical care department. They found that nurse staffing levels reguarly failed to meet guidelines.
In contrast, in community services, the inspectors a culture of continual service improvement and innovation. There were several examples of enhanced integration between health and social care within adults’ services.
Healthwatch Bradford and District shared insight and patient/carer feedback with the CQC prior to their inspection of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.
"When local people talk to Healthwatch, they are often very positive about the services they receive at Airedale Hospital and in the community, telling us how much they value the high-quality care and compassionate attitude of staff.
"Healthwatch share the CQC's concerns about staffing levels because when there are not enough suitably qualified and experienced staff patients report unsatisfactory care. Inadequate staffing levels can cause delays and put patients at risk. We know the Trust are working to recruit more staff.
"We recently carried out a visit to the new A&E department at the hospital, and patients using this service spoke very highly of the environment, the efficiency of the department, and the way they were treated. This is echoed in the CQC report which gives the Emergency Department a 'Good' rating.
"Clearly there are significant issues raised in the report about patient safety in certain areas of the hospital, we will be attending the Quality Summit with the CQC and the Trust to learn about how these issues are being addressed.
"Healthwatch will continue to work collaboratively with the Trust to ensure that patient experience is at the heart of the action plans they create in response to the CQC report.
"We know that local people might be concerned by the CQC rating, and Healthwatch will continue to gather people's views and experiences of the Trust during our regular outreach sessions, via our website, and through volunteer-led visits to services."
Ellen Armistead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at CQC said:
“We were impressed with the community-based collaborative care teams which were an outstanding example of multidisciplinary team working. The teams worked across acute and community services and in collaboration with other agencies to provide a responsive service for patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week providing a valued service help people to remain in their own homes and avoid unnecessary time in hospital.
“Inspectors found that nurse staffing levels in many clinical areas were regularly below the planned number. This was a particular concern in medical care, surgery, children’s services and in critical care.
“Since our last inspection of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust in 2013, we have found deterioration in the quality of some services – particularly in critical care and medicine. While staff reported feeling proud to work at Airedale, some felt there was a less open and positive culture. Although the executive team had taken steps to address some of the issues raised by staff regarding support from managers and confidence to raise concerns, there remained concerns particularly in the critical care, medicine and surgery services. Following this inspection, the trust has told us it is taking action to improve its services, and our inspectors will return to Airdedale in due course to check that the improvements that we require have been made.”