HOSPITALS in south Warwickshire have been rated outstanding – two years after saying they required improvement.
South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) – which runs Warwick, Leamington, Stratford and Shipston hospitals – was inspected by health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) throughout August and September.
It received the highest rating of outstanding overall after receiving the score in responsive, well-led, and use of resources categories.
The trust was also rated good for safety, effectiveness and caring.
It is the only trust in the Midlands, and one of only ten nationally to be ranked as outstanding.
It comes just two years after inspectors rated it as ‘requiring improvement’, which was then changed to ‘good’ following a visit in 2018.
But this time inspectors were left impressed by the ‘outstanding practices’ after seeing the improvements made.
They found staff offered an excellent service and treated patients with compassion and kindness. The CQC’s report also referred to effective leadership.
Inspectors were also pleased with collaborative working between the trust and mental health services.
But there remains room for improvement in some areas, including bringing staff up to date with safeguarding training and ensuring equipment in the emergency department was checked and drugs stored correctly.
Chief executive Glen Burley said while he was delighted with the rating the trust would not be resting on its laurels.
He said: “I have always been proud to be the CEO of this trust, but reading the CQC’s report I feel prouder than ever. I want to congratulate and thank our entire workforce because fantastic achievements like this are only possible through real team work.
“The inspection team picked up on this collaborative approach in addition to many other aspects of the unique culture we have at SWFT. Together we have developed a national reputation for being one of the best providers in the world’s best healthcare service, our great NHS, and this rating cements it.
“Although we are now officially outstanding we are aware that we are not perfect. I want to reassure our patients and partners that we will continue to strive to be even better, using this as a catalyst to be more innovative.”
Chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, praised the trust’s performance.
He said: “On our return to SWFT we found further improvements had been made since our previous inspection and I’m delighted the trust is now rated as outstanding overall.
“During our inspection we noted many areas of outstanding practice. Inspectors were particularly impressed by the strength of leadership at the trust. The trust’s desire to drive service improvement for the benefit of patients, carers, and the wider system was evident throughout the inspection.
“We did identify a small number of areas where the trust could make further improvements. Overwhelmingly, however, we found a trust that provides excellent care and they should be commended for this.
“The trust board and all staff are to be congratulated for their hard work in achieving such high standards across services.”