Northampton General Hospital rated as 'good' three years after highly critical watchdog report

Northampton General Hospital has been rated as good in the latest CQC report.
Northampton General Hospital has been rated as good in the latest CQC report.

An inspection by the Care Quality Commission has found "significant improvement" at Northampton General Hospital after the watchdog slammed its emergency and end of life care three years ago.

Inspectors visited the hospital in January and February this year to check on whether improvements had been made in four "core" service areas, which were found lacking at the previous inspection in January 2014.

The hospital trust was given a requires improvement rating in 2014.

The hospital trust was given a requires improvement rating in 2014.

These were urgent and emergency care, medical care (including older people’s care), surgery and end of life care.

All of these services were previously rated as 'requires improvement' but, following CQC’s latest inspection, all have now been rated as 'good'.

CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “Our inspectors found a number of significant improvements had been made at Northampton General Hospital since our last inspection and staff are to be commended for their hard work.

“The trust had taken action to meet concerns raised during our inspection in January 2014, particularly with regard to establishing an inclusive and supportive staff culture with a clear focus on patient safety.

The A&E department came under particular criticism in the 2014 report.

The A&E department came under particular criticism in the 2014 report.

"This was notable in all four core services we inspected with staff who were committed to improving the quality and safety of care and treatment for patients.

“Staff were friendly and compassionate and patients spoke positively about their care and those caring for them. Effective systems were in place to protect people from harm and inspectors saw a number of areas of outstanding practice.

“This was particularly evident in how the trust treated people with dementia and with regard to people being cared for at the end of their lives.

“The leadership team in the emergency department were outstanding in driving improvements through the service with a clear focus on patient safety, despite pressures due to increasing attendances.

“We will continue to monitor Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust and will return to check on its progress in the future.”

The Geriatric Emergency Medicine service (GEMS) was rated as outstanding by the inspectors and the emergency department's on-site psychiatric liaison service also received praise.

The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) gave the hospital the best rating possible, band A, in its last audit.