East Kent Hospitals Trust: CQC praises improvements

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The William Harvey Hospital was inspected in August

Inspectors said a hospital trust that was previously criticised for its infection control has made some "outstanding" improvements.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) gave the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust a 'requires improvement' rating following an inspection in August last year.

A new inspection said many of the issues had been addressed.

The trust says the new report "reflects the hard work of staff".

The recent inspections took place in March at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate and the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

The inspection last August found failings over Covid-19 precautions, including staff wearing masks incorrectly, not using hand sanitiser and not adhering to social distancing.

Focussed inspection

Cath Campbell, from the CQC, said: "Our inspectors found a number of examples of outstanding practice when looking at infection prevention and control measures at the Trust.

"This is particularly commendable during a period when the trust has had to deal with extreme pressure on resources as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Leaders also adopted learnings from other trusts, and from NHS Improvement which led to the development of a detailed infection prevention and control improvement plan".

However, she said the 'requires improvement' rating will remain in place because its report was based on a focussed inspection, and there "were still one or two areas for improvement".

The trust said areas that still need improving included changing the layout of the doctors' mess to allow for social distancing and adding more staff changing rooms to wards.

Chief executive Susan Acott said: "I would like to thank our hard-working staff for their incredible care and commitment over the past 12 months and for their determination to do their absolute best for the people we look after and for each other".

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