Chief inspector of hospitals rates South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust as outstanding

England's chief inspector of hospitals has rated South Warwickshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as Outstanding overall following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) provides acute hospital and community health services for approximately 220,000 people in South Warwickshire and the surrounding areas.

Warwick Hospital

Warwick Hospital

The trust provides district general hospital services at Warwick Hospital.

CQC inspectors visited SWFT between August 20 and September 25 as part of a routine inspection.

The trust was seen to have made several improvements since its last inspection in January 2018, when it was rated as Good overall. It is now rated as being Outstanding for being responsive and well-led. It is rated as Good for whether services are safe, effective and caring.

Chief Inspector of hospitals, Prof Ted Baker, said: “On our return to South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust we found further improvements had been made since our previous inspection and I’m delighted that the trust is now rated as Outstanding overall.

“During our inspection we noted many areas of outstanding practice. Inspectors were particularly impressed by the strength of leadership at the trust. The trust’s desire to drive service improvement for the benefit of patients, carers, and the wider system was evident throughout the inspection.

“Staff at all levels were clear and passionate about their roles and accountabilities and had regular opportunities to meet, discuss and learn. The trust engaged well with patients, families, the local community and external partners to help improve services.

“Staff treated patients and their families with great compassion and kindness and always took account of their individual needs. Patients and their families were truly respected, and staff found innovative ways to provide emotional support to minimise any distress.

“We did identify a small number of areas where the trust could make further improvements. Overwhelmingly, however, we found a trust that provides excellent care and they should be commended for this.

"The trust board and all staff are to be congratulated for their hard work in achieving such high standards across services.”

Leaders had the experience, commitment, integrity and skills to run a high quality and proactive service that was fully patient-centred. Senior leaders made sure they visited all parts of the trust and fed back to the board to discuss challenges with openness and candour.

The trust actively promoted equality and diversity in daily work and provided opportunities for career development. There was an open and transparent culture where patients, their families and staff could raise concerns without fear.

All staff were committed to continually learning and improving services. Inspectors were provided with a wide range of examples of these during the inspection.

For example, the trust was working collaboratively with the local mental health NHS trust to establish a four weekly rolling programme to discuss and develop individualised action plans to reduce the attendances of high intensity users with mental health issues.

Trust chief executive Glen Burley said: "I have always been proud to be the CEO of this Trust, but reading the CQC's report I feel prouder than ever.

"I want to congratulate and thank our entire workforce because fantastic achievements like this are only possible through real team work.

"The inspection team picked up on this collaborative approach in addition to many other aspects of the unique culture we have at SWFT.

"Together we have developed a national reputation for being one of the best providers in the World’s best healthcare service, our great NHS, and this rating cements it.

"Although we are now officially outstanding we are aware that we are not perfect. I want to reassure our patients and partners that we will continue to strive to be even better, using this as a catalyst to be more innovative."

Full details of CQC’s inspection, its ratings for the trust, including a ratings grid, are given in the report published online at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RJC