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We're good – and it's official!

Northampton General Hospital is good with some outstanding areas – that’s according to the latest inspection by healthcare watchdogs the Care Quality Commission.

In their inspection report published in May 2017, inspectors found that the hospital had made significant improvements since the commission’s previous inspection.
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.
All of these services were previously rated as Requires Improvement but, following CQC’s inspection, all are now rated as Good.
A full report has been published on CQC’s website.
Chief executive Dr Sonia Swart said: "Every single person of the nearly 5,000 people who work at NGH has an important role to play in keeping patients at the heart of all the decisions we make. This report is heartening becuase it shows that we're heading in the right direction - towards being an outstanding hosptial."


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. 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.

“However, there were some areas where further improvements were needed. We highlighted this to the trust and its leadership knows what needs to happen to make sure improvements are made.

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


Areas of outstanding practice

There were some areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • The geriatric emergency medicine service (GEMS) was outstanding in terms of providing awareness of and responding to the needs of patients.
  • The emergency department (ED) worked with external organisations to develop an on-site psychiatric liaison service within the ED, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) gave the hospital the best rating possible (band A) in the April to June 2016 audit.
  • Staff were focused on continually improving the quality of care and patient experience, including for those living with dementia. There were colour-coded bays on some wards and finger food boxes, to help patients eat when they wanted.
  • Plans were being developed with primary care and community services to support elderly patients at home.
  • The end of life care service piloted, evaluated and implemented an end of life companion volunteer scheme for patients who may not have visitors.
  • The ED had an end of life care room next to the resuscitation area. There was a specific pathway and guidance for managing these situations when the patient was a child or young person.
Posted on Thursday 1st June 2017
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