Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Flagged up by Care Quality Commission

The high profile specialist provider Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust has been deemed to be requiring improvement by the Care Quality Commission.

The report issued by the CQC, following an inspection in June, noted that the trust was lacking in several areas.

Although the specialist heart and lung trust was given “good” ratings in the effective, caring and well-led categories, it received the “requires improvement” rating in the safety and responsive categories.

On the plus side for the trust, the Care Quality Commission did note that clinical outcomes for patients are generally very good.

But the World Health Organisation surgical checklist had not been completed adequately, and visitors to establishments were not reminded clearly enough to use antibacterial hand sanitiser.

However, it was also good news for those receiving transplants within the trust, with the Care Quality Commission deeming outcomes in this area excellent, along with the treatment of heart failure and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

The CQC, though, considered it disappointing that the trust only just begun the process of reporting critical care outcomes data.

This meant that comparison with other units was impossible.

The chief inspector of hospitals professor, Sir Mike Richards, had some positive things to say about the trust, but noted that his performance was ultimately unsatisfactory.

“We found patients received compassionate care by staff who spoke about their trust with passion and pride. There are many people who owe their lives to the dedication and expertise of their staff. However there are areas for improvement. I note that critical care services have not in the past submitted data for national audit – which means that it has been difficult to compare the trust’s quality of care with other hospitals.”

The Royal Brompton is one of the trusts that faces losing congenital heart disease services under criteria drawn up by NHS England.

Chief executive, Bob Bell, acknowledged in an official statement that there are areas of improvement required, and outlined the ways that the trust has already begun to address the concerns of regulators.

“We appreciate that there are areas where we need to improve. We know what they are, have already made progress with some of them and are developing robust action plans for others. We are confident that within a short timeframe significant improvements are possible and we will be reporting our progress to our board on a regular basis.”


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