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HCT retains Good CQC rating

Message from Linda Sheridan and Clare Hawkins

Dear colleagues,

In the midst of our collective response to the Covid-19 situation, we are very pleased to share with you the news that HCT has once again retained its overall rating of _Good_ from the Care Quality Commission. The CQC’s report has been published today and follows a routine inspection of our services which took place in February and March this year. The Trust was rated _Good_ for four out of the five overall domains – Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well Led – with Safe being rated as _Requires Improvement_.

The CQC’s full report is available from the HCT provider page on the CQC website. Overall, the inspection team were really impressed with the professionalism, care and dedication from all our people. Karen Holland, our lead inspector, said “What was impressive was the passion of all staff to deliver good quality care.”

The inspection report highlights a number of areas of good practice, including:

  • Staff understanding of how to protect patients from abuse and effective working with other agencies around adult safeguarding
  • Completing and updating risk assessments for patients and removing or minimising risks
  • Monitoring of the effectiveness of care and treatment
  • Good management of patient safety incidents, including recognising and reporting incidents and near misses
  • Good use of monitoring results to improve safety, including the collecting and sharing of safety information with colleagues, patients and the public
  • Staff working together as a team to benefit patients
  • Giving patients practical support and advice to lead healthier lives

The CQC also highlighted two areas of outstanding practice:

  • Our progress chasers in our community inpatient units and how these colleagues help support rapid resolutions, for example to patients’ care package requirements
  • The knowledge and practice of our safeguarding leads which the inspectors described as exemplary and with excellent feedback from our stakeholders

There are however areas identified by the CQC where we still need to make improvements, including:

  • Ensuring our in-patient teams always administer medicines in line with best practice
  • Managers having oversight of clinical supervision to ensure we always comply with our target
  • Ensuring staff have easy access to laboratory tests and x-ray results
  • Implementing appropriate equality and diversity network groups across all protected characteristics
  • Implementing Trust strategies covering workforce, equality and diversity, and patient and carer experience and involvement

Retaining our overall rating of _Good_ is down to the sheer hard work, dedication and skill of everyone in HCT. When we look back at last year, it is a substantial achievement for so many other reasons – the transfer of the Herts Valleys community adult services and 600 colleagues to another NHS provider last October; implementing our new Trust strategy, vision, values and objectives; changes to our Trust Board, and most recently the incredible way that everyone has responded to the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, something none of us could have predicted. Our Board and executive team are rightly very proud of our teams and of everything they have achieved.  We responded in early March to the CQC’s initial findings and actions and are now working on an action plan to address the findings in the full report.

We also want to thank you and all our partners across the Hertfordshire and West Essex social care system for your support and for working with us so effectively, especially at the current time. Do share the news with other colleagues if you wish.

Best wishes,
Clare and Linda