Care Quality Commission
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Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust remains rated as requires improvement following CQC inspection

CQC inspectors have found some improvements at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust following an inspection in September, October and November.

An unannounced inspection of three of the trust’s acute services was carried out as part of CQC’s continual checks on the safety and quality of healthcare services. Inspectors visited the following areas across the trust; children and young person’s services, medical and surgical services.

Following the inspection, the trust’s overall rating remains as requires improvement. The ratings for safe, effective, well-led and responsive remained as requires improvement, and caring remained as outstanding.

Andy Brand, CQC's deputy director of operations, Midlands network, said:

“When we returned to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, whilst we did see some areas of improvement and good practice, more work needs to be done to ensure people receive safe and appropriate care.

“Leaders were enthusiastic about the direction of travel, not only for the trust but for the system as a whole and had taken steps to address any shortfalls. This included system-wide training to ensure staff at all levels were clear about their roles and accountabilities.

“We were pleased to see improvement regarding teams working well together and feeling more confident to report and learn from patient safety incidents which had been a previous area of concern.

“We were impressed with the exceptional performance in the emergency department at Walsall Manor Hospital where the trust had some of the quickest times in the country for seeing emergency patients as well the lowest ambulance handover delays in the region.

“The trust must be also commended for being rated outstanding for being caring a second time. Throughout our inspection we saw staff treating patients with compassion and kindness and delivered care which respected people’s individual needs.

“We will continue to monitor the trust and expect to see that the trust has addressed the areas where further improvement is still needed, by the next time we inspect.”

Inspectors found the following during this inspection:

  • Safe processes and systems were not always in place to manage the prescribing, administration and storage of patients’ medicines and medicine related documents
  • Services for children and young people did not always take account of patients’ individual needs
  • In surgery services, although people could not always access the service when they needed it, the trust was working hard to ensure waiting times from referral to treatment and arrangements to admit, treat and discharge patients were in line with national standards
  • Service leaders did not always run services well and information systems were not always reliable
  • In surgery services, staff did not always assess risks to patients in relation to venous thromboembolism (VTE)


  • A team effort to ensure gold standard care for patients with hip fractures had resulted in a national award for the trust which was now rated as second best in the region for its service
  • The diabetes service had received several awards for improvements for care of people admitted to hospital with diabetic emergencies
  • Services managed safety incidents well and learned lessons from them
  • Staff felt respected, supported and valued and were focused on the needs of patients receiving care
  • The trust engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services and all staff were committed to improving services continually
  • Staff worked well together for the benefit of patients, advised them on how to lead healthier lives and had access to good information.
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