The Care Quality Commission has published a report today following its unannounced inspection of medical care at North Devon District Hospital in July 2021. This applies to the care provided in our Victoria, Capener, Tarka, Staples and Fortescue Wards.
The CQC undertook the inspection to understand how the staffing challenges we face in Northern Devon impact on our services and the care we deliver to patients.
The CQC found that the shortage of medical and nursing staff meant that patient safety was not always maintained. It has rated the service as Requires Improvement overall. This is a downgrading from the service’s previous Good rating, given when the service was inspected in 2014. The Trust’s overall rating remains the same: Requires Improvement.
Suzanne Tracey, chief executive officer for NDHT and RD&E, said:
“We are not surprised by the CQC’s findings. We have fantastic, caring and compassionate teams in Northern Devon and clear strengths in the acute medicine service, but NDHT is undoubtedly in a very challenging position when it comes to recruiting medical staff to fill our vacancies.
“This is why NDHT sought the support of RD&E through the collaborative agreement to help address the inequity of care for people in Northern Devon due to staffing shortages.”
The CQC inspects services across five categories, with each category given a rating before the overall rating is determined. The ratings for this inspection are shown in the image below.
The service has achieved an Outstanding rating for how caring it is and a Good rating for how responsive it is to our patients’ needs. We are extremely proud that despite the significant challenges, the compassion and dedication of our staff continues to shine through.
The report highlighted some examples of real strengths in the service. These include:
- Compassion and kindness: Patient feedback was highlighted as a positive and it was clear that patients were treated with compassion and kindness.
- Positive team-working: Staff felt respected, supported and valued. Staff were found to work really well together as a multidisciplinary team to ensure patients’ needs are met and were found to be well supported by their managers.
- Infection prevention and control: Staff controlled infection risk well and everything was visibly clean.
Suzanne continued: “By joining together NDHT and RD&E, we want to work collaboratively to meet the rising demand we are facing across Devon.
“Increasing our staffing numbers through recruitment will only be part of the solution – we need to develop a joint model of care to meet the rising demand we are facing across Devon, which makes the best use of digital opportunities, with a focus on ensuring patients get the best possible outcome across all areas we serve.”
More information about the proposed integration is available here. We will continue to provide updates throughout the process.
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