Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust trust told to urgently improve safety

The JR Image copyright PA
Image caption The trust's previously "good" rating was downgraded to "requires improvement"

An NHS trust must make immediate improvements to its safety and leadership, care inspectors have said.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) had imposed urgent enforcement powers on Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

It requires the trust to improve the privacy, and health and safety, of patients in surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The chief executive of the trust said it was addressing the issues.

Its previously "good" rating was downgraded to "requires improvement" following inspections from November to January.

Inspectors assessed urgent and emergency care, medical care, surgery, maternity, and gynaecology services, as well as the trust's management.

'Lack of expertise'

They raised concerns around patients' privacy in the John Radcliffe's operating department, and have insisted on an action plan to mitigate risks of infection.

The CQC also concluded the trust was not well-led, pointing out a lack of expertise at board level.

It said demand at the emergency department "frequently outstripped the availability of appropriate clinical spaces" and waiting times "were not always meeting national standards".

However, it said staff cared for patients with compassion and kindness.

Image copyright OUH
Image caption Oxford University Hospitals Trust runs several hospitals across Oxfordshire, including the Horton General in Banbury

CQC's deputy chief inspector of hospitals Dr Nigel Acheson said: "[We] have placed urgent conditions on the trust's registration to ensure these improvements do take place.

"We will remove those conditions when we are satisfied that the trust has made sufficient progress to provide the quality of services that its patients are entitled to expect."

Trust chief executive Dr Bruno Holthof said: "I would like to thank all staff whose compassion and kindness has quite rightly been recognised."

He said the trust was "only partway through a journey to improvement" and that it would "continue to address those areas identified by the CQC where we know we need to do better".

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