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Outstanding features highlighted as NGH rated good by inspectors


An inclusive and supportive staff culture, confidence in leadership at all levels and a clear focus on patient safety have resulted in an improved inspection rating for Northampton General Hospital.

Following a number of inspections by healthcare watchdogs the Care Quality Commission, the hospital is today (WED 8 NOV) official reclassified from Requires Improvement to Good.

The hospital was found to be good in all five categories inspected – safe, well led, caring, responsive and effective – with many outstanding features highlighted by the inspection team. The hospital wide focus on patient safety was noted.

"It gives us renewed confidence that if we sustain our current improvements and continue our current approach , we will be able to move from Good to Outstanding.”

Chief Executive Dr Sonia Swart said: “The inspection report paints a picture that everyone working here will recognise. The essence is that of a positive team spirit delivering care of a high standard in a clinically-led structure where staff are proud of what they do.

“It’s heartening to read about the pride and professionalism of our employees in all roles and across all our services, whether they work at the frontline clinical end, in support services, or as managers and through to the senior management teams.

“The report echoes the hundreds of emails and letters I receive every month from patients and their loved ones, people who take the time to tell me how much it means to them when we get it right, when we prioritise their experience and safety above everything else.

“I’m really pleased for everyone who’s worked with determination over the past three years to get us to this point. The reports confirms that this was a whole team effort and that our direction of travel is the right one. It gives us renewed confidence that if we sustain our current improvements and continue our current approach , we will be able to move from Good to Outstanding.”

Outstanding practice highlighted by CQC inspectors included:

  • A world-class stroke service (one of the top 7 in the country – time to CT scan: 26 minutes )
  • The development of an on-site psychiatric liaison service in the emergency department by working with partners
  • The geriatric emergency medicine service (GEMS) where the needs of elderly patients were specifically considered in the emergency department
  • Excellent level of clinical oversight for those NGH patients placed in the care homes adjacent to our site
  • Commitment to improving the care of elderly patients, such as those living with dementia.
  • End-of-life companion volunteer scheme for dying patients who may not have any visitors
  • The Chit Chat group set up by the maternity service to facilitate antenatal education, parenting advice and peer support for women with additional needs, including learning disabilities or anxiety.
  • Development of an assessment tool to improve the monitoring and assessment of baby’s skin on Gosset ward. The ward was working with neonatal services from across the world (Canada and Turkey) to further develop the tool.
  • The ultrasound department was innovative and conducted many audits and feed these back to ultrasound community in England.
  • The use of physician’s associates
  • A hospital-wide focus on quality improvement
  • Outstanding leadership in the emergency department
  • Well-maintained estates


  • Inspectors visited the hospital on 30 January, 7, 8, 9 and 17 February 2017 as part of a focused inspection, to check on whether improvements had been made in four core service areas. These were urgent and emergency care, medical care (including older people’s care), surgery and end of life care.
  • Inspectors carried out a short notice focused inspection on the 25 to 27 July 2017 and an unannounced inspection on 9 August 2017. They examined four core services: critical care; maternity and gynaecology; children and young people; and outpatients and diagnostic imaging. These were found to be good.
  • Combining the ratings for all inspected services, the CQC determined that NGH’s overall rating is good

To read the review in full, visit the CQC website.

Posted on Wednesday 8th November 2017
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