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Care Quality Commission – ratings and reports

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the body responsible for checking that all hospitals in England and Wales meet national standards.

The CQC perform inspections that check standards and that we are treating patients with respect, involving patients in their care, caring for people safely and protecting them from harm. Inspections also look at staffing.

These can be announced comprehensive inspections as part of the inspection regime, unannounced inspections where the trust has no notice of the CQC visiting, or themed inspections looking at particular areas of interest.

All trusts also now receive an announced comprehensive CQC inspection of services. In these inspections a team of inspectors come for a longer period of time and look in detail at all services across a trust.

Our comprehensive inspection took place in May and June 2016 and the results were published in February 2017.

The inspectors spent three full days in the trust’s community settings followed by unannounced follow up visits to areas.

As part of this inspection, patients and the public were invited to give their feedback and views on the care and services that we provide.


Comprehensive inspection results


More on our report

The CQC measured 40 domains in total across the services with one rated as outstanding, 27 as good and 12 as requires improvement.

The Trust received an overall rating of requires improvement.

The CQC rated our adult community, sexual health and inpatient services as good. Care and responsiveness was rated as good across the trust and the report states that patients told the CQC about ‘care that was delivered with kindness and compassion’.

This was the first full inspection that the CQC has carried out at the trust, although they did carry out a summary inspection in 2014.

Inspectors stated that they had seen significant improvements in culture and staffing since that inspection.

A number of individual services were highlighted as providing ‘outstanding healthcare practice’.

These included community matron services for adults in Wigan, systems to avoid hospital admissions through urgent care centres, Bolton’s Parallel service for young people and an end of life care specialist team that includes support of therapists.

Our inpatient units were also rated as outstanding for caring.


Some of the ways that we’ve improved our services since the inspection

The trust has worked to address a number of areas where improvement was required in the safe, effective and well-led domains since the inspection.

This has included:

  • Strengthening overall governance for end of life care and medication management services with the appointment of new clinical leads in these key areas and the development of trust wide strategies;
  • Clearing a backlog of paediatric follow-up appointments in St Helens following the transfer of the service into Bridgewater from another provider in 2015. Waiting times are now just nine weeks compared to the national standard of 18 weeks;
  • Enhancing and improving home birth services in Halton with midwives now able to provide oxygen at home, in case it is needed in an emergency
  • Ensuring patients are triaged quickly in line with national guidance in urgent care and walk in centres.  Since June 2016, more than 95% of patients have been triaged within the national A&E indicator targets.

Well Led Review 2020

In 2018 the trust was subject to a CQC inspection, this resulted in a ‘requires improvement’ rating for the domain of well led.

The Trust was due for a re-inspection in 2020 however due to the Covid-19 pandemic all CQC inspections were suspended.

As a result of this the Trust commissioned Facere Melius to conduct an independent Well-led Governance Review.

Read the Board paper received at the Public Board meeting on 1 April outlining the findings of the report.


Want to know more?

Visit the CQC website here for latest reports from their inspections at our trust.