‘Very significant improvements’ at Bedford Hospital NHS Trust have been recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), following a re-inspection against essential standards of care in November.
Inspectors have lifted all the sanctions imposed on the Trust following an unannounced inspection in July.
The health and social care regulator published its second report into Bedford Hospital on Monday. All warning notices have been removed, and the standards which were previously assessed as being of moderate or minor concern are now fully compliant.
Only one ‘minor concern’ now remains, which reflects the time the trust needs to embed its new governance processes, covering the area of assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.
The re-inspection, which was also unannounced, took place in November and assessed the same standards but across more wards and departments.
The report said: “We visited 10 wards and departments during this inspection, and found significant improvements had been made. We found staff treated patients in a dignified manner, and were respectful and caring in their approach.
“We spoke with more than 30 patients or their relatives, and most were very satisfied with the care they had received. We found the wards were calm and well organised, and following a recent recruitment drive, staffing numbers had been increased in most areas.
“We spoke with more than 60 staff, and found most were enthusiastic about the recent changes in the hospital, and were keen to talk about the improvement processes and initiatives they had been involved in.
“The trust had restructured their governance systems and developed additional committees to monitor specific areas of quality and safety. Although not fully compliant in this area, the improvements made were so significant that we considered the impact to be greatly reduced and have taken regulatory action accordingly.”
Bedford Hospital chief executive, Stephen Conroy, said: “I am delighted with this report, which reflects the very significant improvements we have made following the CQC inspection in July. We took the summer report as an opportunity for a really thorough review of how we work and the type of care environment we provide for our patients.
“Our staff really grabbed this chance to make positive and lasting changes, making sure we get it right for every patient, every time. This report is a testament to their effort and their dedication to those we are here to care for.
“We are committed to maintaining these improvements and in ensuring consistently high standards of care across all our wards and departments.
“Many of our patients and stakeholders have and continue to help us improve the way we work.
“They have given a great deal of their time over the past few months and I would like to sincerely thank them for their involvement.
“I am not complacent about the work we still have to do and the effort we all need to make, every day; to make sure we are doing the very best for everyone who accesses our services.”