NNUH response to CQC report
Mark Davies, Chief Executive, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
“We thank the CQC for their report and have accepted its findings. Lack of capacity and sustained high levels of demand over winter put our services under extreme pressure and I would like to apologise to our patients that we were not always able to provide the level of service that we would have wanted.
“The NHS has been through one of the longest, toughest winters on record and I would like to thank staff across all professions and support services at the Trust for everything they have done, and continue to do, for our patients and colleagues. The CQC team also recognised the consistently caring approach by our staff.
“In the nine months or so since the start of the inspection process we have continued to work on many improvements, which, in line with CQC recommendations, have included the significant increase in the capacity of the Emergency Department (ED) and trebling the size of the children’s ED. In addition we have over two years increased ED staffing by 38% and introduced the UK’s first Older People’s Emergency Department (OPED). We are also improving facilities and increasing staffing (alongside Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust) for patients with mental health needs in crisis.
“We are starting to see the positive impact of these and other changes (such as an increase in staffing of 540, 8%, including an additional 70 consultants, 18% – in the last two years): Across all services the CQC has rated us as “Good” for Caring, this year the Trust has the fifth most improved staff survey in the country, and NNUH has one of the lowest mortality rates in the East of England (a key indicator for quality in hospitals).
“However, we absolutely recognise there is still much to do and that we have some significant challenges to deal with, particularly in relation to staff feeling able to speak up and raise concerns, and we must improve next winter’s escalation plans and improve our systems and processes overall. We are working on our improvement plan with the help and support from NHS Improvement and also the King’s Fund (the independent charity and expert think tank on health and care).
“We are pleased that the CQC identified some of our outstanding areas of practice including: Stroke and fractured neck of femur pathways which “were impressive”, the appointment of 15 Advanced Clinical Practitioners in ED, and a forum for outpatient staff which “provided an opportunity for staff to network and communicate across divisions, grades and specialties” and gold standard “Mohs” surgery for certain skin cancers.
“Nothing is more important to us than providing the best possible care for our patients and the right culture and environment for our staff.”