BOSSES at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust today said a health watchdog’s latest report recognises ‘very significant improvements’ to patient care.
The trust was given an overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’ following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection in March 2014.
The CQC has now given the trust an overall rating of ‘Good’ after a follow-up inspection in May this year.
England’s chief inspector of hospitals, Prof Sir Mike Richards, said in the latest report: “Since the last inspection, the trust had invested time, effort and finances into developing a culture that was open, transparent and supported the involvement of staff, and reflected the needs of people who used the service.”
But in individual hospital ratings, Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s Hospital are classed as ‘Requires Improvement’ while Allerton and Wharfedale Hospitals are classed as ‘Good.’
The report states that there were areas of “poor practice” where the trust must make improvements, adding: “The trust must ensure at all times there are sufficient numbers of suitable skilled, qualified and experienced staff in line with best practice and national guidance taking into account patients’ dependency levels.”
Julian Hartley, chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted this report shows that we were able to demonstrate during a thorough inspection that very significant improvements have been made in patient care across our hospitals.
“What the report shows again and again is what an excellent team of staff we have across a wide range of specialities at the trust and in our support services, who are all committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our patients.
“On a personal level I was very pleased that the inspectors have acknowledged that the huge amount of effort put in across the organisation to develop and open and accountable culture where staff feel empowered and involved has started to show benefits.
“This gives confidence to patients and the public that the services they can expect to receive here in Leeds are safe and high quality, with Leeds Teaching Hospitals rated good for all three key lines of enquiry – effective, caring and well-led.
“Of course there are always improvements to be made and the report does highlight areas where further work is needed. These are all areas the trust is aware of and they are a high priority for us in the coming year.
“Like many hospitals across the country we continue to face challenges in recruiting sufficient qualified staff, but we have committed £13.5m over 30 months to address this, as safe staffing of wards is extremely important to us. Overall the Trust has around 1,500 extra staff compared to two years ago. We look forward to demonstrating further progress when the CQC look at our services once again.”