The Care Quality Commission has today rated two of the Trusts within the Mid and South Essex Hospitals Group as Requires Improvement, while rating the care provided as Good.
Inspectors visited Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust and Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation
Trust in November last year, looking at a range of services and speaking to patients, relatives and staff.
The CQC’s overall rating for both Trusts remains as Requires Improvement.
Chief Executive Clare Panniker said: “These were the ratings we were expecting. While there is still
more to do, we’re delighted that the inspectors recognised the raft of improvements that have been
made across our hospitals, and noted areas of outstanding practice.
“We are well-sighted on the issues we are facing across Mid and South Essex, and understand the scale
of the improvements needed.
“The demands on our services, and long-standing issues with recruitment and finances, have meant
that we are not consistently providing the service we would like to our population. People are having
to wait longer than we would like for treatment, and we are determined to tackle the issues head on.
“We know that merging our three Trusts together – as we aim to do on 1 April – will speed up our
programme of improvement.
“The clinical changes we have already started to introduce – particularly separating out emergency
and planned care – will help to cut waiting times and improve outcomes for patients.
“Legally merging the Trusts will build on that. We can work more efficiently and streamline processes,
making best use of our state-of-the-art equipment and our outstanding staff. Being one of the largest
Trusts in the country will also help us to attract the best recruits, and allow our existing staff to develop
as one team.
“I’m particularly pleased that we have been given a rating of Good for Well Led – confirming that we have
strong leadership in place across our group of hospitals as we head towards merger.
“The staff on both sites were described as ‘kind and compassionate’ by the inspectors, who also noted
that they provided our patients with privacy and dignity.
“The report for Mid Essex Hospitals shows wide ranging improvements. The overall mark for medical care – which includes older people’s care – has leapt up two ratings, going from inadequate to good in 18 months. That’s a fantastic achievement and such good news for patients.
“Similarly, there are no inadequate ratings at Southend, with good ratings for care in every service. We have worked quickly to tackle the areas which we knew needed additional support, and have already introduced
new clinical leadership in our emergency department to spearhead improvement work.
“At the time of the inspection we had a 40% vacancy rate for nurses in Southend’s Emergency Department.
I’m delighted that we now have no vacancies.
“Increased demand on our services also impacted on our ability to see patients as quickly as we would like.
In the past year we have seen 3.24% more people through the doors of ED, and whereas at this time last
year we were seeing an average of 11 ambulances arriving at Southend Hospital every afternoon, it is now
an average of 30.
“We are absolutely committed to continuously improving our services for the people of Mid and South Essex, and I’m looking forward to seeing what more we can achieve as one single Foundation Trust.
“I would like to thank our staff, who work tirelessly to provide the very best care to our patients.”