Trust responds to “leaked” CQC report

Royal Lancaster Infirmary.'The original old building.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary.'The original old building.

The chair and chief executive of the health trust that runs the Royal Lancaster Infirmary have spoken out about the recent “leaked” Care Quality Commission report.

The draft report found the trust to be performing inadequately in relation to the safety and leadership of services.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust (UHMBT) chief executive Jackie Daniel, and interim chair John Hutton wrote on the trust’s website:

There is a lot of speculation at the moment regarding the forthcoming publication of the Hospital Inspection Reports by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

We would like to try to clarify a few facts about the process, rather than at this stage talk about the detail of the ‘leaked’ draft report.

Once the reports have been finalised and published by the CQC, we will share and discuss our response with the public and staff.

In February this year, the CQC as part of its new regime of hospital inspections, visited three of our hospitals: Furness General Hospital, Westmorland General Hospital and Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

This was a scheduled inspection and by the end of 2015, the CQC has said that it aims to have inspected all NHS hospitals in this way.

Following a hospital inspection, the CQC then publishes a draft report which is sent to the trust that has been inspected for factual accuracy checking. This report is then returned to the CQC together with any comments for the CQC to check, consider and finalise.

This Trust recently received four draft reports from the CQC following our Inspection in February.

We received one report for the Trust overall, and this appears to be the one that it is being referred to by the press as the ‘leaked’ report.

Each hospital will also receive an overall rating from the CQC, as well as an overall Trust rating.

As requested by the CQC, we have completed the factual accuracy process for all of the reports and submitted our response.

Before publishing the reports and the outcome of the Inspection, the CQC will hold a Quality Summit. At this meeting, the reports and their findings will be discussed. The Trust will shortly attend this Summit, together with other invited local health partners, and Monitor. Following this the Trust will then receive its final ratings. It is shortly after the Quality Summit that the reports will be published.

It is wrong we believe to speculate on what may, or may not happen following the Quality Summit. Currently we are being asked to comment if the Trust will be placed into ‘special measures’ – such speculation doesn’t help staff or the public, especially as the information which is being discussed is not yet finalised. Any further action is a decision for the regulator of Foundation Trusts and the position will be known once the reports have been published. We have been very clear in the past and would like to reiterate that we support the work of the CQC and the role Hospital Inspections play in providing assurance to the public and staff on the standards of care being provided in their local hospitals. We will of course work with the CQC and all of our partners to make any further improvements required for the benefit of our patients and staff.

Whilst we have made good progress at improving standards in a number of areas where the Trust was previously deemed to be failing, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure the levels of care we are providing are consistent in all areas of our hospitals and we remain focussed on achieving this – the safety of everyone who uses our services remains our priority.

We do not know how the reports were leaked, but can only apologise for any unnecessary concern caused, regardless of where the information came from.