Basildon University Hospital now 'outstanding' or 'good' in all departments, says health regulator

Dr Agilan Kaliappan, lead consultant (front row, 3rd from left), with members of the critical care team

Basildon University Hospital has achieved high scores for all its eight clinical areas, after the health regulator found significant improvements and gave a ‘good’ rating for the quality of critical care delivered to patients.

In August 2015, A&E, medicine, surgery, children’s, outpatients and end of life care were all given a ‘good’ overall rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with maternity and gynaecology achieving an ‘outstanding’ grade. But the regulator found that critical care required improvement.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said of critical care in the report: “There were significant improvements made to how safe, effective, responsive and well led the service was since our last inspection in March 2015."

The inspectors also noted: “Feedback from people using the service including patients and their families was very positive. Patients and their relatives were kept informed of their care and there were very clearly documented notes regarding the weekly meetings and communication that had taken place with them.”

The improvement follows work done by the trust and critical care staff to address inspectors’ concerns about the unit. This included recruiting extra doctors and nurses to the unit; improving critical care training arrangements; developing the leadership team and improving how patients are managed to ensure that the right patients can access the critical care unit in a timely fashion.

The hospital was taken out of special measures in June 2014 on the recommendation of Professor Sir Mike Richards. It followed an inspection that rated the hospital as ‘good’ and described ‘very good care in most areas’, the first ever ‘outstanding’ maternity department in the NHS, ‘excellent leadership’ and a ‘change in culture’.

Clare Panniker, hospital chief executive, said: “We are delighted that the CQC has recognised the continued improvement of Basildon Hospital, reflected in this latest ‘good’ rating for our critical care department.

“This is further endorsement of the dedication and commitment of our staff who work incredibly hard to ensure that our patients receive the very best care. Our ambition is to improve on the high standards we have set for ourselves and deliver ‘outstanding’ performance in all areas.”

The CQC returned to check the performance of critical care again in February 2016. The inspectors ask five questions about each of the hospital’s eight areas: are they safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? Critical care was found to be ‘good’ in all five aspects.

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