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Northumbria does the double

Wednesday, 16 October, 2019
Northumbria does the double

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has today thanked its staff as it was awarded the highest possible CQC rating – ‘outstanding’ – for the almost unprecedented second successive time.

In a report which saw the trust score ‘outstanding’ for services being effective, caring and responsive, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) detailed the extraordinary efforts staff make each and every day and the very real, often life changing, difference it makes to their patients.

Maternity services in particular were singled out for extensive praise not only for their improvements and overall performance, but for being committed to the trust’s vision, for embedding change and for their commitment to on-going training. The department was also considered to be exceptionally well led – with senior members of staff both visible and accessible.

The other areas noted for outstanding practice are:

  • An observational tool for preventing falls (AFLOAT) in patients – since nominated for a national award and highlighted by the British Journal of Nursing and soon to be copied by a number of other trusts
  • A multi-disciplinary cough service based across three sites which used speech and language therapy to great effect
  • An academic respiratory (COPD) programme – the sole study of its type included in the Research Excellence Framework
  • Stroke services were praised for increased performance and patient outcomes. The move was used to inform the national stroke plan as part of the NHS ‘Long Term Plan’

The trust was one of a handful of organisations to be rated ‘outstanding’ in 2016 and it is almost unprecedented to be awarded the honour twice.

Sir James Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“I am beyond delighted with the ‘outstanding’ rating we have been awarded today. It is a credit not only to our staff but also to our ethos of placing the experience of care for our patients right at the very heart of our organisation.

“I have, and will always say, that our staff are the backbone of this organisation and never is that more true than today – I am forever grateful for their unwavering support and commitment.

“I am so proud of each and every one of our 12,000-strong team. From the domestic who cleans our wards to the surgeon who performs the latest cutting-edge procedures, and the nurse who delivers care in people’s homes to teams working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly – and everyone in between!  All have played, and continue to play, their part in our collective success.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to them all for everything they do for our patients, whether directly or indirectly, and especially for their unfaltering dedication to providing the best possible care to our patients.

“The NHS has undoubtedly become more challenging in the four years since our last inspection and it is credit to everyone’s hard work and dedication that we have remained at the pinnacle of healthcare in this country and indeed the world whilst uniquely maintaining strong performance and financial resilience.

“While as a trust we are delighted, it is most importantly great news for our patients and communities across Northumberland and North Tyneside, all of whom can be rest assured that, if they need to use our services, they will be treated by some of the best staff in the NHS and receive the highest possible standards of treatment and care.

“Despite this rating, and the many other accolades we’ve been awarded over the years, we will never rest up on our vision to continuous improvement, what we call ‘The Northumbria Way’.  For those areas highlighted where we need to make improvements, progress is already being made.  Whilst being rated ‘outstanding’ is fantastic, and it is only right that we take this opportunity to celebrate that.  We know we must always do more to ensure every single one of our patients, and their families, have an even better experience of our care and our staff have the support they need to deliver this.”

Media contact

Elliot Nichols – Northumbria Healthcare

0191 203 1512 / 07966 490736

*The full report can be found on the CQC website.