Airedale Hospital 'requires improvement'

Airedale Hospital 'requires improvement'

Published at 7:43am 10th August 2016. (Updated at 1:32pm 10th August 2016)

The NHS Trust which runs Airedale Hospital has been told it 'requires improvement' by the Care Quality Commission. 

Inspectors visited earlier this year and have published their report today.

The inspection rated the 'effective', 'caring' and 'responsive' domains as good, but the 'safe' and 'well-led' domains need improvement.

Bridget Fletcher, Chief Executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are delighted that the CQC highlighted many examples of our good practice, as we pride ourselves on our compassion and standards of care. We know we have areas to improve on, and the breadth and depth of the CQC's report has given us useful feedback on which we can build.

"We are addressing the issues around staffing and culture and had already put in place action plans to address areas that we felt required improvement. Our teams have risen to the challenge and have already made significant improvements in a number of key areas.

"We have over recent months strengthened our comprehensive nurse recruitment strategy, which includes initiatives such as developing our health care support workers, participating in the 'Return to Practice' programme and international recruitment. Earlier this year, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust was named as one of the CHKS 40 Top Hospitals 2016 and was also amongst the top five for the national patient safety award for the third year running which is a direct reflection of the high standards of care we provide to patients.

"We focus on promoting an open and transparent culture. In the 2015 national NHS Staff Survey, Airedale scored above the national average for staff recommending the Trust as a place to work or receive treatment, which was also reflected in the recent Friends and Family Staff Test results. We are not complacent; we know there are areas we have to work on but we are encouraged by these results.

"I would like to pay particular tribute to our people. The first two inspections took place during our busiest winter month, and it is a testament to them that they coped with sustained demand, as well as a full CQC inspection. Whether they work in direct patient care or in a supporting role, all our teams care deeply about the community we serve, and it is right that this is recognised."

Healthwatch Bradford and District shared patient and carer feedback with the CQC before the inspection. 

Manager Andrew Jones said: "When local people talk to Healthwatch, they are often very positive about the services they receive at Airedale Hospital and in the community, telling us how much they value the high-quality care and compassionate attitude of staff.

"Healthwatch share the CQC’s concerns about staffing levels, because when there are not enough suitably qualified and experienced staff, patients report unsatisfactory care. Inadequate staffing levels can cause delays and put patients at risk. We know the Trust are working to recruit more staff.

"We recently carried out a visit to the new A&E department at the hospital, and patients using this service spoke very highly of the environment, the efficiency of the department, and the way they were treated. This is echoed in the CQC report which gives the Emergency Department a 'good' rating.

"Clearly there are significant issues raised in the report about patient safety in certain areas of the hospital, we will be attending the Quality Summit with the CQC and the Trust to learn about how these issues are being addressed.

"Healthwatch will continue to work collaboratively with the Trust to ensure that patient experience is at the heart of the action plans they create in response to the CQC report.

"We know that local people might be concerned by the CQC rating, and Healthwatch will continue to gather people’s views and experiences of the Trust during our regular outreach sessions, via our website and through volunteer-led visits to services."