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Chief Inspector of Hospitals publishes his findings on Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has published his first report on the quality of care provided by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust at Harrogate District Hospital, North Yorkshire.

The trust was inspected under radical changes introduced by the Care Quality Commission, which provide a much more detailed picture of care in hospitals than ever before.

CQC found that Harrogate District Hospital provided care that was safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Areas of good practice included:

The hospital was clean and it had effective systems in place for infection control.

The trust valued its volunteers and worked closely with them. Volunteers at the trust respond to patients’ needs in many ways, including being used as ‘secret shoppers’ in the outpatients department and as hospital guides. The Patient Voice Group, run by volunteers, played an important role in monitoring patient experience within the trust.

The trust provides some care remotely using telemedicine. This allows care to be provided 24 hours, seven days a week in response to people’s needs.

While no significant areas for improvement were identified on the inspection, CQC has advised the trust that it could improve in the following areas:

  • Review staffing levels in wards, particularly those caring for older people.
  • Improve pain control in some areas in surgery services.
  • Improve the recording of “do not attempt cardio pulmonary resuscitation” (DNACPR) for end of life care.
  • Review thresholds for reporting serious incidents.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards said: We found that Harrogate District Hospital and its individual services are well-led and that the trust’s Board showed a good understanding of key issues. Most of the patients we spoke to during our visit were positive about their care experiences and much of what we observed was good. We found no evidence to be concerned about the hospital’s mortality or infection rates.

CQC spent three days in November at Harrogate District Hospital, one of which was unannounced. Its inspection team included doctors, nurses, hospital managers, trained members of the public, CQC inspectors and analysts. The team examined the care provided in accident and emergency, medical care (including older people’s care), surgery, intensive/critical care, children’s care, end of life care and outpatients.

The report which CQC publishes today is based on a combination of their findings, information from CQC’s Intelligent Monitoring system, and information provided by patients, the public and other organisations.

The full report is available at

CQC will continue to monitor Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and will follow up on its findings and observations from the inspection.

Richard Ord, Chief Executive of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said:We are pleased to receive the report from the Care Quality Commission, which overall gives a positive verdict on our services. During their inspection, the CQC spoke to a wide range of staff, patients and relatives across the Hospital and found that we are providing safe, effective and compassionate care, with a clean environment to help with infection control.

This is down to the hard work and dedication of each and every member of staff and I want to thank them all for their efforts, as well as those staff, patients, relatives and members of the public who contributed their views to the inspection. We are always pleased to receive any feedback as it helps us to constantly review and improve the care we provide.

Harrogate Hospital

The report also found that there were some areas that the Trust could improve. For example, whilst staffing levels in some areas, especially in the care of older people, meant that staff were keeping patients safe and meeting their needs, they were not at times able to do so as promptly as possible

In response to this issue, Mr Ord said: Whilst the care provided on our elderly care wards is safe and effective, with further planned increases in nursing staff, we will be able to provide care more promptly on these wards. This is a priority and we are already recruiting additional nurses.

This report shows that all the efforts of everyone who works at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust are really worthwhile and appreciated. We will endeavour to make sure that we keep up these high standards in the future.

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