Kettering Hospital has improved, says new watchdog report

Kettering Hospital
Kettering Hospital

A report has found significant improvements have been made at Kettering Hospital since a similar inspection earlier this year.

Three of the four standards focused on by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), including care and welfare and safeguarding from abuse, were found to have been met.

The CQC this week published its report on an unannounced inspection at Kettering Hospital carried out in September.

It followed another inspection in June this year in which the hospital was told to improve in a number of areas.

The trust has met three out of four standards inspected after the CQC spoke to, and followed, patients through the hospital, and spoke with carers, family members and staff.

The CQC inspects against 16 essential standards of quality and safety which trusts are required to maintain. Not all standards are inspected during each visit. Inspectors may re-inspect standards previously not achieved and inspect new standards on each visit.

The report said most people were complimentary about the care they received, staff responded to patients with respect and kindness, accident and emergency now had a dedicated area for children and that new nursing processes were in use on all the wards and departments visited.

However, the trust did not achieve on one of the four standards measured at the most recent inspection which has resulted in a minor concern. This standard was around always having enough suitably experienced and qualified staff on duty in the areas inspected. This was judged to have had a minor impact on people who use the service.

The hospital’s director of nursing and quality, Clare Culpin, said: “We are pleased that our ongoing efforts to improve the patient experience and enhance safety have been noted by the CQC who can see we are progressing.

“Our new nursing processes, which the CQC found were in use in all areas, have safety and the individual care needs of patients at their heart.

“They involve a daily care prescription – a written plan of an individual patient’s needs which nurses refer to and update throughout the day. They cover the basics like ‘Can a person safely get around without support?’, ‘What are their eating and drinking needs and preferences?’, ‘Do they have breathing problems?’ and ‘Do they need assistance washing?’

“These, in combination with our other routine assessments around things like preventing pressure tissue damage and extra support for people with dementia, are helping us to further improve the care experience.

“On the staffing issue we are working very hard to recruit staff to fill our vacancies both in A&E and elsewhere against the background of national NHS staff shortages.

“We are currently reviewing our recruitment processes to make them faster and more effective, have weekly recruitment meetings and are exploring new and innovative forms of recruitment.

“For example, we are launching a Healthcare Apprenticeships scheme in the New Year to enable people to work at KGH and gain caring experience and national vocational qualifications before going on to work full time on our wards.”