Chesterfield Royal Hospital told to make improvements

An aerial view of the sprawling Chesterfield Royal Hospital site.
An aerial view of the sprawling Chesterfield Royal Hospital site.

Health watchdogs have told Chesterfield Royal Hospital to make improvements – and also highlighted areas of outstanding practice.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the Calow hospital in April and published its report this morning.

It found children and young people services, urgent and emergency services, maternity and gynaecology services and critical care services were “good”.

However, the CQC said the hospital needs to make improvements in surgery, medical care, end of life care and outpatients and diagnostic imaging.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “Our inspectors found that some improvements were needed at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

“We found several areas of outstanding practice.

“The trust leadership knows what it needs to do to bring about improvement and our inspectors will return at a later date to check on what progress has been made.”

On surgery, the CQC report stated: “Overall we found surgical services to require improvement.

“Insufficient staff had attended essential training on caring for people who do not have capacity to make decisions about their treatment and staff did not demonstrate understanding of this aspect of care.

“Staff did not consistently monitor patients’ level of hydration where this was required.

“Patients did not always receive treatment in an appropriate timescale after referral.

“Average lengths of stay were slightly longer than the England average.”

In terms of medical care, the report stated some patients were moved around the hospital and treated in non-speciality beds, impacting on the quality of their care.

Inspectors said all end of life care staff must complete necessary training.

On outpatients and diagnostic imaging, the CQC said resuscitation trolleys and equipment must be checked, maintained and fit for purpose.

In addition, the CQC found:

• the trust must ensure there is appropriate and timely monitoring of deteriorating patients within the high dependency unit

• a senior children’s nurse must be available during the day and night to provide necessary support to the nursing team

• an accurate record must be kept for each baby, child and young person

Inspectors witnessed some outstanding areas of practice, including:

• the trust had a clear vision of how its clinical environments could be dementia friendly

• child patients could watch short films designed to calm and distract them

• locum doctors received quarterly reviews with an educational supervisor

Gavin Boyle, chief executive of Chesterfield Royal Hospital, said: “We welcome the CQC’s report and the picture it gives us.

“At the end of 2014, when we started to prepare for our first official inspection, we always said it would offer us an opportunity to show what we do well. The fact that we have so many ‘good’ scores in our rating is testament to the dedication of our staff, who work incredibly hard to provide our patients with great care, delivered with kindness and compassion.

“The inspection has brought a fresh pairs of eyes – examining what we do and suggesting ways to make the care we provide even better.

“The report will enable us to do just that, highlighting a range of improvements we are already on track to deliver.”

Click here for the full report