SOUTH Warwickshire Foundation Trust bosses have been left ‘deeply disappointed’ after a failed appeal to healthcare inspectors saw the service keep its ‘requiring improvement’ rating.
SWFT – which covers Warwick, Leamington, Stratford and Shipston hospitals – was inspected by health regulators the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last March.
Inspectors rated the trust as ‘good’ in the caring and responsive categories. But in safety, effectiveness and well-led categories the trust was marked as requiring improvement.
It led to it being rated as ‘requiring improvement’ overall which trust bosses disagreed with, and after making several changes they appealed the grading.
But they have recently been told that they will keep the rating, despite the CQC admitting there was some ‘harsh rating judgements’ in their report and an independent reviewer saying they could re-inspect the service.
SWFT chief executive Glen Burley said: “We are pleased to see the CQC accept that there were some procedural weaknesses in their inspection and that there was evidence of some unduly harsh ratings judgements.
“The latter has resulted in changes to two of our ratings but the CQC has not changed our overall trust rating.
“While we feel vindicated by the changes made, we are deeply disappointed with the overall outcome.
“We are further disappointed that the CQC has declined the suggestion from their independent reviewer that a re-inspection could be carried out.
“That said, we have acted on all recommendations made by the CQC and remain ready for a re-inspection at any stage.”
When inspectors visited the trust last year they flagged up failures including medicine being kept in unlocked cupboards, incomplete risk assessments and night staff caring for double the recommended amount of patients.
But inspectors also praised some of the trust’s services, including the Central England Rehabilitation Unit (CERU) which supports people who have suffered brain injuries. They were also marked as outstanding for community nursing and the Warwick Hospital A&E department.
Following the trust’s appeal inspectors changed ‘responsiveness to end of life care’ from requiring improvement to good and changed the ‘well led’ category from inadequate to requiring improvement
Overall 78 per cent of the CQC’s findings were ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
But the trust joins 60 per cent of others across the country to be rated as requiring improvement.