Caring staff praised for ‘going extra mile’ for patients

Release Date: 03/03/2016

Caring staff praised for ‘going extra mile’ for patients

A major inspection report published today by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has praised the caring and compassionate staff at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) in Oswestry.

The report – which also identifies important areas for improvement at the world-renowned specialist orthopaedic hospital – follows a comprehensive inspection by the CQC in October last year, during which they took a microscopic look at all of the Trust’s services.

The CQC rates services by classifying them as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate against five criteria to determine whether services are safe, effective, caring responsive and well-led.

Overall, RJAH has been rated as ‘requires improvement’ – though surgery services are rated as ‘good’ and the hospital is noted for delivering patient outcomes above the average for specialist orthopaedic trusts.

The hospital is also rated as ‘good’ for caring, with staff praised for being compassionate and going the extra mile for patients. But a number of areas for improvement are also highlighted. These include access to services – an area the Trust is already working on alongside healthcare regulator Monitor, in order to improve waiting times.

The report also indicates improvements required in learning and feedback from incidents, inconsistent compliance with hand hygiene standards, and in out-of-hours paediatric medical cover. Privacy and dignity on the High Dependency Unit (HDU) is also highlighted – which will be addressed by the opening later this year of the Trust’s new £15.1 million ward and theatre development, which includes a new state-of-the-art HDU facility.

John Grinnell, Acting Chief Executive at RJAH, said: “We recognise this as a fair and balanced report. It contains many compliments for the terrific job our dedicated teams are doing but also raises some issues that we must improve upon. It is important we do not attempt to gloss over these, but instead respond with clear and positive action plans – and that is exactly what we are doing.

“I am delighted that the CQC recognised the commitment of our staff across the hospital in rating us as ‘good’ for caring. This came as no surprise to me, as I see this every day when I talk to our staff and patients. Good care is at the heart of what we do so it is an important message to take out of this report, that this is an area where we are most definitely getting it right.

“Clearly there are areas where we can and must improve – we have already taken action in several of these and are working on detailed action plans to address each and every issue that has been raised.”

Bev Tabernacle, Director of Nursing at RJAH, added: “I am new to this organisation, but in a few short weeks I have seen so many examples of outstanding care. It is so heartening to see that the CQC inspectors saw this too.

“The most important feedback, of course, comes directly from our patients. In the NHS Friends and Family Test, we have consistently received better ratings than the average for England – and patients who spoke to the CQC told them that they had been well cared for, and that staff were sensitive to their needs and treated them with kindness, compassion and respect.

“Clearly, however, our overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’ tells you that there are some areas where we can and must make changes. There are some key themes that come out of this report, and we have already begun making changes to address these.

“Overall, this report gives us a helpful independent snapshot of how we are doing. We welcome the good points and embrace the negatives as challenges which we can and will address.”

You can find more information by visiting the dedicated CQC page on our website at

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