Northwick Park NHS Trust still 'requires improvement'

Northwick Park Hospital's maternity unit has been rated inadequate

Northwick Park still 'requires improvement' the Care Quality Commission has ruled - Credit: Archant

The NHS trust that runs Northwick Park Hospital still must improve, the Care Quality Commission has ruled.

London North West University Healthcare Trust today publicised it had been rated as ‘requires improvement’ by the watchdog - the same grade as it received in the most recent inspection from 2019. 

The commission noted that progress had been made. But it judged that it ‘requires improvement’ overall and in five of the six key areas of inspection. These are ‘safe’, ‘effective’, ‘responsive’, ‘well led’, and ‘use of resources’. For ‘caring’ it was rated ‘good’. 

Nicola Wise, head of hospital inspection at the Care Quality Commission, said: “Although the rating of the trust remained the same, we did find improvements since the previous inspection.

“When considering the additional challenges posed by Covid-19, the trust is making encouraging progress.

“We identified several areas it must improve on to ensure patients consistently receive safe care and treatment that meets their needs, including ensuring all services are adequately staffed and providing adequate mental health provision.

“However, good work included how the trust maintained its cancer services throughout the pandemic and how teams collaborated in surgery at Ealing Park Hospital.”

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The inspection was carried out over five days in February and in March. The results were published on Friday, May 20. 

The trust has said immediate areas of improvement focus are mental health services, developing a clear local cancer strategy, and conducting a significant recruitment drive.

Pippa Nightingale, chief executive of the trust, felt one takeaway was that the leadership team encouraged an open and honest culture.

She said: “It’s been an incredibly tough couple of years, but our teams have shown the qualities that can and will see us improve our ratings as we come out of the pandemic.

“We need to keep the momentum up, keep moving forward and work more closely with our communities. I joined [the trust] several months ago and came here because I believed in its potential. This is an encouraging report that recognises how far we’ve come, as well as noting the work we still have to do.”