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Big improvements at Mid Staffordshire

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that it will lift five out of six conditions which have been imposed on Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust after acknowledging that it has “improved significantly”.

The CQC has been monitoring progress at the trust very closely since last April when it introduced a tough new system of registration and Mid Staffordshire was one of 22 trusts found not to be meeting essential standards of quality and safety. It was only registered on the condition that it made improvements within strict deadlines.

In a review of care at the trust which was published today, CQC said that standards had improved significantly. It said the trust is listening and responding to concerns raised by patients, mortality rates are declining, there are more nurses and patients are generally positive about their care. However, a number of important improvements remain outstanding, including the fact that some patients are still waiting too long in A&E.

The five conditions that have been lifted relate to staffing levels; how the trust monitors and assesses the quality of care being provided on the wards; training staff to use equipment; managing patients in A&E; and ensuring all medical equipment is in working order and properly maintained. The sixth condition, which relates to supporting workers through effective supervision and appraisal, has not yet been reassessed.

[quote top=Andrea Gordon, CQC regional director in the West Midlands, said:]I’m sure this has been a long, hard year for everyone at the trust. The problems were huge and the programme of reform was ambitious. But it has certainly paid off. This is a very different trust to the one we saw a year ago.

But there is still a lot to be done. There are still instances where care is not to the standard it should be. It’s almost there, but almost isn’t good enough. There was never going to be wholesale change overnight, but the trust has certainly come a very long way in one year. We will continue to scrutinise standards very closely to make sure that progress isn’t lost.[/quote]