Walton Centre Foundation Trust Rated Outstanding

The Care Quality Commission has awarded its second outstanding rating to a specialist trust.

This honour has been bestowed on the Walton Centre Foundation Trust; a specialist in brain and spinal services based in Liverpool.

The Walton was rated outstanding for the care shown to patients and the effectiveness of its services.

Additionally, it received a ‘good’ accreditation from the CQC over safety, being well led and responsiveness.

Although this is only the second specialist trust to receive the outstanding rating, seven other trusts have also received this exalted rating.

This could be considered encouraging for the CQC itself, as critics have suggested that the rating criteria utilised by the organisation have been too stringent.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, praised the trust for its multidisciplinary care.

Commenting on the rating from the Care Quality Commission, Richards outlined some of the reasons that this specialist trust was so highly regarded.

“On admission, patients typically presented with a diverse range of medical, physical, sensory and social needs, requiring specialist multidisciplinary care. Throughout the wards and departments we inspected we found teams worked well across disciplines particularly in critical care and specialised rehabilitation services. The trust is a centre of excellence delivering state of the art, world-class care”.

Patients treated by the trust were also extremely positive about their experiences, rating it as the top acute trust in terms of cleanliness, appearance and maintenance.

The trust itself was pleased to note that the rating was achieved without any explicit areas of improvement being required.

However, the CQC’s report did state that it must review risk registers, the equipment available on resuscitation trolleys and an aspect of staff training.

The Walton Centre is the only specialist hospital trust in the UK dedicated to providing comprehensive neurology, neurosurgery, spinal and pain management services.

Patients currently attend the trust from Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, the Isle of Man and North Wales; a significant catchment area housing over 3.5 million people.

All 19 specialist hospital trusts in England have now been inspected with nine CQC reports still to be published before the end of the existing financial year.

Of the 10 published so far, two were found to require improvement, two were outstanding and the remaining six were rated good.

The other specialist outstanding trust is also based in Liverpool, with Liverpool’s Heart and Chest Hospital having received an outstanding rating last month.


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