North Middlesex University Hospital A&E receives positive CQC inspection

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its latest report on A&E at North Middlesex University Hospital. The unannounced inspection took place in January after the CQC noted a rise in A&E attendances and ambulance handover delays.
Photo of North Middlesex Hospital

The report highlights some positive and very encouraging improvements. One of the reasons for the inspection was due to the rise in the time it took for ambulance teams to handover to A&E teams at the hospital. The hospital’s responsiveness to this challenge was commended, with specific mention of their new purpose built area to receive patients arriving by ambulance and their ‘sit to treat’ area, both of which helped reduce ambulance handover times. Inspectors also found that patients were kept safe, with their safety closely monitored by staff.

The CQC did not inspect any other core service or wards at the hospital, as this was a focused inspection to review concerns relating to the emergency department.

The full report is available on the CQC website.

CQC report

This report reflects the ongoing improvement in the performance of A&E at North Middlesex University Hospital and provides confidence to local patients. At a time of immense pressure on its A&E the hospital has been able to meet the very stringent requirements of the CQC. The commitment of the staff is especially welcomed. We at Healthwatch Haringey will continue to work closely with hospital and the community to maintain those standards, and to explore ways of reducing pressures on A&E.
— Sharon Grant OBE, Chair - Healthwatch Haringey.

The CQCs key findings included:

  • The design, maintenance and use of facilities, premises and equipment kept people safe. Staff were trained to use them.
  • Risks to patients were assessed and their safety monitored and managed, so they were supported to stay safe.
  • Although there was a relatively high vacancy rate within specific bands, there were enough nursing staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep patients safe from avoidable harm and to provide the right care.
  • The service had managers with the right skills and abilities to run a service which provided high quality, sustainable care.
  • The service had a vision for what it wanted to achieve and a strategy to turn in it into action, develop with stakeholders. The vision and strategy were focused on sustainability of services and aligned to local plans within the wider health economy. There was an appetite among staff to deliver outstanding care which was evidence based and improved patient outcomes.
  • Staff felt respected, supported and valued. There were focused on the needs of patients receiving care. The service had an open culture where patients, their families and staff could raise concerns.

We have worked in partnership with the hospital over recent years, from delivering independent surveys of patients in A&E, to providing help and support identifying areas for improvement. We are currently engaged on a social prescribing project targeting the most frequent A&E attenders to understand the underlying reasons for this behaviour and to explore alternative options which address their needs.

These achievements are a marked improvement compared to where we were four years ago, and this progress has been possible thanks to our teams, our partners and the support we have received from community leaders. I know that there is still work to do to ensure that we continue to deliver the standard of care our local community deserve, and I look forward to working with Healthwatch Haringey to make this happen.
— Maria Kane, Chief Executive - North Middlesex University Hospital.

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