Improvement needed at Peterborough City Hospital as inspectors say some services have deteriorated

The trust which runs Peterborough City Hospital has been told they require improvement after inspectors raised a series of concerns including with the way medicines were stored, the number of qualified, competent and experienced staff, and in the maternity ward.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 6:00 am
Peterborough City Hospital
Peterborough City Hospital

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) gave the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT) the rating following their latest visit earlier this year, and said a number of services ‘had deteriorated’ since their last visit in 2018. The trust had been given a ‘Requires Improvement’ rating at the last inspection.

However, Caroline Walker, chief executive of the trust, said the report would act as a ‘good source of information to progress our continuous improvement.’

In addition to its overall rating, NWAFT is rated as Requires Improvement for whether its services are safe, effective, responsive and well-led. It is rated Good for whether its services are caring.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Inspectors said the trust must make a number of improvements, including ensuring it has enough suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff, maintaining clear up-to-date patient records, including resuscitation information in end-of-life care, storing medicines safely, ensuring maternity wards at Peterborough City Hospital are secure and have appropriately maintained equipment, and following isolation procedures when treating infectious patients.

Professor Ted Baker, CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “Inspectors found some good and outstanding practice at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, but they also saw areas where services had deteriorated.

“Peterborough City Hospital’s critical care lacked the leadership and strategy needed. It did not have enough medical staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience. The hospital’s maternity leaders did not understand and manage all issues their service faced. In urgent and emergency care, people could access services when they needed, but were not always treated within target times.

“Stamford and Rutland Hospital’s minor injuries unit was not offering the quality of care and treatment we previously saw. Not all staff were compliant with mandatory training or knowledgeable about isolation procedures for infectious patients. Governance, risk and quality performance processes were not embedded or aligned across the hospital’s emergency and medicine division, with the majority of focus given to Peterborough City hospital.”

However, while there were a series of concerns, Prof Baker said there were positives as well. He said: “Across the trust, staff treated people with kindness and respect. They took account of individual’s needs and provided emotional support.

“Diagnostic imaging at Peterborough City Hospital was rated Outstanding for being well-led, facilitating positive patient outcomes. The hospital’s surgery, outpatients and services for children and young people were providing good services to patients. Medical care, surgery and outpatients at Stamford and Rutland Hospital were rated Good; they were well planned, and people did not wait too long for treatment.

“Following the inspection, CQC reported its findings to the trust. The trust’s board knows what it must do to ensure all necessary improvements are made. We continue to monitor the trust and will return to carry out further inspections to check on any progress.”

Caroline Walker, said: “While we know the outcome of this report as ‘Requires Improvement’ is disappointing for our board and for many of our staff, we will use this as a good source of information to progress our continuous improvement.

“Our staff have been and continue to work incredibly hard under a huge amount of pressure to maintain a high standard of care for our patients and this is reflected in the areas rated as Good and Outstanding and is something that we should celebrate. We will also continue to stage our own internal quality assessments as part of our ongoing commitment to quality of care and wish to congratulate all of those areas who have achieved an outstanding award as a result of this.

“We would like to reassure and assure our patients that we are committed to continuing to focus on the areas that need further support and have already taken action on the areas where concerns have been raised.”

To read the report, visit