Queen Alexandra Hospital gets best ever rating but Portsmouth health bosses know there is more to do

HEALTH bosses at the city’s hospital are celebrating after receiving its best ever rating from inspectors – but have insisted there is more work to do amid challenges with capacity and the emergency department.

By Millie Salkeld
Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 9:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 7:24 am

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has achieved its first ‘Good’ rating in a report published today by the Care Quality Commission following an inspection of Queen Alexandra Hospital in October and November 2019.

Ratings for medical care (including older people’s care) and surgery had both improved overall and are now rated good, outpatients remains rated good overall, while urgent and emergency services and outpatients both remain rated as requires improvement.

Mark Cubbon, chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT), said: ‘It is a brilliant springboard for us to go on and and deliver even better services than we do at the moment.

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Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham

‘We still have more work to do and we recognise that and I think we have also been able to demonstrate that we can deliver significant improvement and that is the big opportunity that we have now about driving further improvements right across the organisation.’

Seventeen breaches of legal requirements were found in urgent and emergency services, maternity and surgery that the CQC said the trust must put right.

Inspectors also highlighted 40 things hospital bosses should improve to comply with a minor legal breach.

It comes after years of challenges across the hospital and in particular the emergency department, which has faced criticism as it struggled to deal with increasing pressures which has seen queues of ambulances left waiting outside and high patient waiting times.

Over the winter period the hospital, which has 1,200 beds, has been more than 92 per cent full every day.

PHT has been given £58.8m to build a new emergency department and plans for where this will be built on the Cosham site were released earlier this year.

Catherine Campbell, CQC’s head of hospital inspection for the south east said: ‘Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has made improvements since our last inspection. Overall, the trust has improved from requires improvement to good which is great news for people using these services.

‘Our inspectors found that the culture within the trust had improved and patients benefited from more coordinated care with local organisations. We found that care was inclusive, and staff supported people’s needs and preferences.

‘All the staff at Portsmouth should be proud of the positive progress that’s been made.

‘However, although people told us they were treated with kindness and compassion, further improvements are required in safety to some areas of the trust, which we rated as requires improvement.

‘These include the need for rapid improvement in the emergency department where we have concerns about people being cared for safely and in a timely way. I expect to see improvements in this area when we return, and we will continue to monitor this closely.’

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Mr Cubbon insisted he and his team were doing all they could to address areas in need of improvement.

He added: ‘Safety is our number one priority. We have already acted on a lot of the feedback that they have given us and we have demonstrated we can make improvements.

‘We will continue to work with our partners to make sure we have the right capacity in different parts of the system. All these improvements we have managed to make have been with the backdrop of seeing more patients on this site than we have ever done.’

In total 35 out of the 44 ratings from the CQC are now rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

The hospital serves approximately 675,000 people across Portsmouth and south east Hampshire