Organisation Running St Mary’s Hospital Rated ‘Good’ By Inspectors

St Mary's hospital

St Mary’s hospital

The organisation that runs St Mary’s Hospital has received a ‘good’ rating across the majority of its services in a Care Quality Commission report.

But the CQC noted concerns about low staffing levels on the islands and the lack of electronic patient care records here.

Peninsula Community Health, a not-for-profit company, runs fourteen hospitals and clinics in Cornwall, from Stratton in the North East of the county, down to it’s most South Westerly unit in Scilly.

They underwent one of the new, more rigorous CQC inspections in January, which looks to see whether its services are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well lead.

The CQC rated 23 out of the 25 inspection areas as ‘good’, on a on a four-point scale from ‘outstanding’ at the top, through to ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate.’

Two areas – the safety of end of life care and monitoring of urgent care services, ‘required improvement.’

All clinical areas were found to be “clean and maintained” and the “standard of hand hygiene within district nursing and therapy teams was high.”

The CQC also spoke to patients and their families and the report states that services were “spoken of highly” and the inspection team were “pleased to see examples of outstanding care where staff had gone the extra mile to ensure patients received the care they needed.”

The report said the Matron at St Mary’s hospital had raised worries about insufficient staff levels on the islands, caused mainly by a lack of affordable accommodation stopping new recruits from relocating.

Last year, a new Midwife had to decline the job because she couldn’t find a suitable long-term let for her family.

It means staff from the mainland have to travel over, there’s frequent use of agency nurses and local staff work extra hours to cover shifts.

PCH says that by the end of April 2015, there will be an 80-hour shortfall in Scilly and they’re now advertising nationally for more staff.

But the CQC says it was not evident that this shortage impacted on patient care.

The inspectors also highlighted St Mary’s for not having electronic records linked to the mainland with all information being kept in paper format.

They said that could lead to increased staff workload and duplication and may have reduced the effectiveness of communicating information about the patient’s condition.

Good practice here on the islands was identified, including the recent appointment of a Dementia Champion to reduce injury to patients living at home and the use of telemedicine to reduce travelling to clinics.

PCH Chairman, Michael Williams, said NHS staff were initially reluctant to transfer to the new organisation when it was set up as a social enterprise in 2011.

But he said the CQC report now shows the overwhelming support of staff, who are “well informed and have confidence in the leadership team.”

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