Improvements at Tameside General welcomed - but hospital 'must get better'

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Tameside's three Labour MPs have welcomed Tameside General Hospital being taken out of 'special measures' after two years.

But Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne has insisted that improvements must continue at the hospital.

She said: "Good progress is being made - but there must be no setbacks to the hospital's recovery. Tameside General needs to get better for local patients."

The Tameside Trust was found to be Good for being well-led and caring by the Care Quality Commission, which recently inspected the hospital.

But it was also rated as Requires Improvement for being safe, effective and responsive to people’s needs. The trust has still been rated as Requires Improvement overall.

Angela Rayner MP added: "A lot of work has been put in to turn the hospital around after it was placed in special measures two years ago.

"Strong leadership and a more caring approach have helped to pick it up, but a lot more work still needs to be done to improve the hospital for local people. We cannot afford to be complacent, but at least Tameside General is now moving in the right direction.

"Staff should be congratulated for responding so well to the enormous challenge they faced. But the improvements must continue."

Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Health Minister and MP for Denton and Reddish said:  “We’ve been calling for improvement at the hospital over a number of years now and it’s really pleasing to see the journey the hospital has been on under the new leadership, which is testimony to the hard work, dedication and faith that the staff, management, patients and their families have shown on this road to improvement.

"As the CQC identifies, there are still some issues to be resolved at the hospital and this is only the start of the journey. 

"Whilst it’s very welcome to see the hospital coming out of special measures, we still need A&E to improve and I want to see the proper integration of health and social care to give a seamless joined-up single service for the residents of Tameside and Glossop.”

Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, said: "

I am pleased that the CQC have recognised the progress being made at Tameside General Hospital since it was placed in special measures. This is an important step for the Hospital and it should give confidence to residents in Tameside that the hospital is undoubtedly getting better.

“All I have ever wanted is for my constituents to receive the healthcare they deserve. I would like to praise the hard work and dedication of the staff who have made this possible. From conversations with constituents and through the casework I receive, I have seen first-hand the evidence of improvements that are being made.

"As the CQC report highlights, there are still areas that need further attention, in particular with A&E waiting times. I will be working to ensure that Tameside Hospital continues to improve in the long-term.”

CQC find significant improvement at Tameside Hospital

CQC finds significant improvements at Tameside Hospital after two years in special measures

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended that Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust at Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, should come out of special measures following its latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Inspectors found that Tameside General Hospital had made significant progress to improve, particularly in critical care services which had previously been rated Inadequate, and also in dealing with governance and patient complaints 

The trust had been placed into special measures two years ago after concerns were raised about mortality rates, care of emergency and deteriorating patients, staffing levels, patient experience and leadership.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:

"I am satisfied that Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has made considerable  progress in those areas where we had concerns last year, which is why I am pleased to recommend to Monitor that the trust should come out of special measures.

"The trust has been going through a period of significant change.   On our most recent inspection we have seen for ourselves that there is now a stronger culture which is committed to putting patients and safety first. 

“The senior management team has led this programme of change, taking care to involve staff to ensure that this improvement is sustained.  This is a credit to all the staff; we found them to be a highly dedicated workforce,  committed to caring for their patients. 

"There is still much to be done. I am particularly concerned that patient flow through the hospital appears to be putting continual pressure on beds, and overall the trust is not yet as safe, effective or responsive as it should be.  But we can see that the trust has the systems in place to support this improvement and it is our view this is entirely within the trust’s grasp. 

“We will continue to monitor Tameside Hospital. Our inspectors will return in due course to check that it has continued to make progress."

The trust was placed into special measures by Monitor following a recommendation by Sir Bruce Keogh in July 2013.     After a further inspection last year rated the trust as Inadequate, Sir Mike recommended that  it should remain in special measures.  

Following the latest inspection, in April, the trust has now been rated as Requires Improvement overall.  The trust has been rated Good for being well led, and Good for caring.  The full reports and ratings are available athttp://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RMP

In 2014, CQC had been specifically concerned about the critical care services, medical care, surgical and outpatient services. This year inspectors found there had been significant improvements in each of these areas.

In critical care, staffing levels now met patients’ needs, patient safety was monitored and incidents were investigated and shared with staff to assist learning and improve care.   Patients received care and treatment by staff working well together in multidisciplinary teams  with a visible leadership.   Inspectors found staff  were enthusiastic about changes taking place.

In medical care, inspectors found that all staff contributed to systems to manage and monitor safety, with an improved culture encouraging them to report mistakes and incidents openly.   Staffing levels had been reviewed and improved.  While patient flow through the hospital was better, too many patients were still transferred during the night and some could not be accommodated on appropriate wards.

In surgery, patient safety was being monitored and incidents were investigated to assist learning and improve care.  While outcomes were positive for most patients, too many operations had been cancelled, although there were plans to improve theatre capacity to reduce waiting times and meet standards.  

In the outpatients department, there had been an increased in nursing staff, resulting in more clinics being available.  There was now better management of the waiting lists and improved communication with patients

The emergency department was failing to meet many of the national access targets, although the trust was working closely with commissioners and other agencies to improve flow through the department.  In some areas, inspectors noted a number of omissions in records of controlled medicines

CQC has told the trust it must make improvements in a number of areas:

• The trust must ensure that it has enough doctors to meet the needs of patients at all times including out of hours.

• Patient flow must improve throughout the hospital to reduce the number of patients transferred at night and ensure timely access to the service best suited to meet the patient’s needs, particularly in A&E and medical care services.

• There must be improvements in completion levels of mandatory training and appraisals for nursing and medical staff.

• Medicines, particularly controlled drugs must be stored, checked and disposed of in line with best practice, particularly in A&E and outpatients.

About the Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and we encourage care services to improve. We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.


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