CQC highlights ‘well-led’ services and ‘positive improvement’ at Bradford Teaching Hospitals

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been told it is a ‘well-led’ organisation after a visit by inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) also found that care was ‘patient centred and compassionate’ at the Trust’s hospitals which include Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) and St Luke’s Hospital.

The report highlights many areas of ‘outstanding practice’. In particular, it awards BRI’s urgent and emergency services, which were inspected during winter, one of the busiest and most challenging times of the year, a rating of ‘Good’ – an improvement on a previous inspection.

Surgery was also rated as ‘Good’ but because not all the hospitals’ services were inspected during the visit in January 2018, the partial inspection means the Trust has been unable to raise its overall rating from ‘Requires Improvement.’

The Trust’s Chief Executive, Professor Clive Kay, praised staff for their hard work, dedication and commitment to continual improvement of patient care but recognised that there was still work to be done across services overall.

He said: “We can be proud that since our last inspection in 2016, we have continued to improve, delivering high quality, compassionate services to patients, and this has been recognised in the report. But we’ve also got more to do to show the level of consistency required across the full range of our services.


“I’m particularly proud that our busy urgent and emergency services have improved their previous rating to ‘Good’. This is solid recognition of how well we have handled pressures during the difficult winter period, balancing capacity and high demand for the service. The fact that we were inspected in January during our busiest period, and achieved this rating, tells its own story.”

Professor Kay added that in the past, ‘well-led’ was just one of the five domains inspected, but now it was an entirely separate inspection all of its own.  The Trust’s inspection in February 2018 assessed leadership and governance at senior management level; as well as overall organisational vision and strategy; governance, management, improvement capability; and organisational culture and levels of engagement.

“It is pleasing that we’ve performed extremely well in our first new-style ‘well-led’ inspection – with the CQC awarding us with a rating of ‘Good’ for how well-led we are, which gives us a really solid base for our next stage of improvement.

“This is a fantastic tribute to the hard work of staff to ensure we lead change and we manage ourselves and our services in the best way to deliver great care to our patients.

“This ‘Good’ rating for well-led reflects everyone’s commitment to drive forward a culture of strong, supportive leadership and engagement with staff at all levels, so we are all working towards the same goal of delivering excellent, high quality services for patients.”

He concluded: “Whilst it is disappointing that we were unable to improve our ratings for services as a result of the limited scope of the inspection, we do consider that at our next re-inspection, we can confidently move to an overall service rating of ‘Good.’

“The CQC identified some issues that we still need to address, to give our patients the best possible care, and we will move on positively and continue our overall improvement so the next time the CQC visit, there is absolutely no question about how far we have come.”

Areas of outstanding practice praised by the CQC in its report include:

  • Regular simulation-based training in the emergency department;
  • The emergency department’s musculoskeletal clinic;
  • The series of “hot clinics” held by the ambulatory care assessment unit;
  • The medical care service which has an “outstanding approach” to multidisciplinary working;
  • The virtual elderly care ward, which won the ‘Improving Value in the Care of Frail Older Patients’ award at the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards 2017;
  • The surgery service which ensures the right patient gets the right operation by adding a green wrist-band at the time of consent;
  • Paperless radiology;
  • A virtual acute surgical ward developed to manage patients with specific conditions in surgery at home while they await their procedure;
  • A ‘Fragility Fracture Nurse Service’;
  • Development of the Bradford Macula Centre.

The report also found that there was ‘a positive culture across the Trust with a strong focus on patient safety’, ‘staff felt appreciated and proud about working the Trust’ and that there was ‘a focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels in the organisation.’

Areas marked for improvement were medical services in the ‘safe’ and ‘effective’ domains and maternity services in the ‘safe’, ‘effective’ and ‘well-led’ domains.

In their summary of findings, the CQC said: “Overall we found that care was patient centred and compassionate and we received positive feedback from the patients and relatives we spoke with. This demonstrates positive improvement since the last inspection, but as two of the services that were not inspected on this visit had elements of requires improvement this has not allowed the hospital to raise its rating overall.”