Corporate Information

Care Quality Commission rate Trust as ‘good’

The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has achieved a ‘good’ rating from the Care Quality Commission following an inspection of services in February this year.

The report, published on Wednesday, 29 June 2016 shows services were rated ‘good’ for being safe, effective, caring and well led, with responsiveness rated as ‘requires improvement’.

Of the eight core services inspected across both Chester and Ellesmere Port Hospitals, seven were rated ‘good’ including urgent and emergency services, medical and older people’s care, surgery, critical care, maternity and gynaecology, services for children and young people and outpatients and diagnostic imaging. One service, end of life care, was rated as ‘requires improvement’.

The Ellesmere Port Hospital was rated ‘good’ and Chester Hospital was rated ‘requires improvement’.

In the report, a letter from the Chief Inspector of Hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards stated: “There was a very positive culture throughout the trust. Staff felt well supported, able to raise concerns and develop professionally. Staff were proud of their services and proud of the Trust.”

Areas of outstanding practice highlighted in the overall report included:

  • Innovation in stroke services 
  • The role of care and comfort worker in assisting patients with nutrition and hydration needs
  • Morning team briefings in theatre areas to highlight issues or safety concerns

The Trust will be implementing a series of improvements in relation to:

  • Managing bed pressures to reduce the impact on hospital access and patient flow 
  • Strengthening its strategic approach with end of life care 
  • Addressing staffing shortages and reducing dependency on bank and agency spend in some areas
  • Management of records, particularly in relation to detailing nutrition and hydration on surgical wards 
  • Compliance with safeguarding training in line with best practice

Chief Executive Tony Chambers said: “To see the pride that Countess staff have for their work and this hospital recognised and reiterated throughout this report is truly uplifting. This inspection took place during our busiest and most challenging winter months. Throughout it all our workforce maintained focus, morale, professionalism and dedication to their patients.

“While we have been rated as ‘good’ overall – the report has also reinforced our own sense of what we need to strengthen and improve. It provides a spotlight for patient flow, access and end of life care across the health system.”

Director of Nursing and Quality Alison Kelly added: “There is plenty for us to celebrate in this report, as well as plenty for us to learn from too. Work is already underway to address some of the staffing requirements. We have invested in a series of new consultant posts in paediatrics and radiology, we are introducing an electronic rostering system that will better match staffing levels to patient need and we continue to boost our nursing workforce through an active programme of local and overseas recruitment.”

The Care Quality Commission visited the hospital between 16 and 19 February 2016. It also carried out an out-of-hours unannounced inspection on 26 February 2016.

The full report can be found here: