CQC upgrades Newham University Hospital rating after inspection

Newham University Hospital

Newham University Hospital - Credit: Archant

Two years after being branded ‘inadequate’ by inspectors, Newham University Hospital has worked hard to make improvements - and has been rewarded with an upgraded rating.

The hospital, in Glen Road, Plaistow, received a damning inspection report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in May 2015, which criticised the care it provided.

The results of another inspection, which took place in November, have been released today, which upgraded the rating to ‘requires improvement’.

Chris Pocklington, the hospital’s managing director, said he was “really pleased” with the result.

He said: “It’s fantastic to finally lose that ‘inadequate’ CQC rating, and I think it’s testament to the hard work of people that work here.

“We’re pleased that the overall colour of the grid will change, with large numbers of ‘requires improvement’ or ‘good’.”

The assessment focused on five areas of care in five areas of the hospital, with 10 of the 25 sub-categories branded ‘good’ and just one - the safety of the maternity and gynaecology services - still ‘inadequate’.

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The hospital’s medical care and surgery were rated as ‘good’, with inspectors noting that there were some areas of outstanding practice.

This included innovative measures to improve access and flow around the building, especially at weekends, and a team who provided dedicated support to patients who had complex needs relating to immigration, asylum or refugee status.

The CQC added it observed kind and compassionate care, with patients saying they are happy and describing staff as friendly and caring.

Mr Pocklington said: “We know we’ve got areas where we’re outstanding.

“We need to identify the services that aren’t and work out how to make them good.”

According to the inspectors, improvements are still required in maternity and gynaecology, end of life care and services for children and young people.

Since their visit, the hospital has already worked to address areas of concern.

It has opened a new £6.8million children’s centre, where specialist equipment allows a wider range of medication to be provided in addition to effective pain relief, and has launched electronic tagging in the maternity unit.

All patients at the end of their life will have documented care plans and be supported in their preferred place of death.

Alwen Williams, chief executive at Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs Newham University Hospital, said: “I am pleased that the positive progress at Newham Hospital has been acknowledged by the CQC, and I am proud of our staff who were described as doing their best to ensure they provide the best care.

“An overall positive picture of care was evident to the inspectors following many discussions with our patients and the views of our staff who said the culture and morale is much improved.

“The CQC also rightly observed areas where we still have work to do, and I am sorry for instances where we have let patients down.

“We are committed to continuing on our journey of improvement knowing we are solidly heading in the right direction.”

Steve Russell, executive managing director for NHS Improvement (London), added: “Staff and patients should be proud of the progress Newham Hospital has made over the past two years, and today’s improved rating from the CQC will resonate with patients, who report they are happy with the care they receive from ‘friendly and caring’ staff.

“Barts Health, which runs the hospital, will be the first to insist there is still more work to do, which is why further progress has delivered improvements even since the CQC inspection was carried out.

“The significant improvements in organisational culture and morale since previous inspections have created a strong platform for services and staff at Newham not only to deliver the progress identified by today’s CQC publication, but also to provide a firm foundation for future improvement, with the full support of NHS Improvement.”