Health trust still "needs to improve"
The borough's community healthcare organisation still requires improvement following an inspection by the industry's watchdog.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it was unable to say Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust had done enough to improve to an overall rating of good.
However, the organisation did acknowledge considerable strides had been made in its services since the last time the CQC visited in 2016.
The Trust also pointed out the positive comments made by inspectors and promised to look closely at the ongoing shortcomings identified.
The CQC said the overall finding was guided by the assessment of how well led it is, and in this area Bridgewater still requires improvement.
It also said that the community health services for children, young people and families still required improvement.
However, in other areas Bridgewater was able to move up to a “good” rating.
Trust chief executive Colin Scales said: “It is important to understand that although the overall rating at Trust level remains unchanged, the detail of the report shows significant improvement since the last inspection in 2016 with six of the eight service areas inspected being rated as good.
“Our end-of-life and community dental services all achieved an improved rating of good from the last inspection and our adult community and sexual health services both retained their good rating, meaning that overall our core services are rated as good.
“In addition to more services being rated as good, we are also particularly proud of the glowing reflection of our staff and the service they provide to patients which is a key theme throughout the report.
“We will be taking time to digest the final report and feel confident that the report is evidence that we have made significant improvements for patients.”
The CQC report said that while Bridgewater has a high-calibre executive team the Trust had also experienced high turnover of staff in top posts 2017.
There was a culture of improving across the organisation and a recognition there was more to do, with the strengthening of senior management arrangements still a work in progress.
The Trust’s rating for safe care went down to requires improvement, with concerns that children’s services staff were not fully up to date with recognising and treating sepsis, although work is under way to address this.
Children’s services were not always delivered in suitable locations, with hazardous cleaning products sometimes not stored securely and potential ligature points being found in buildings.
Other issues highlighted included a weakness in integrated reporting, with systems currently being brought in to allow Bridgewater to analyse information more effectively, and variable qualities of serious incident investigations.
In particular Bridgewater’s work learning from deaths was behind the national average, although the Trust sent the CQC evidence of improvements in reporting following the visit.
Joint working with commissioners and other stakeholders also showed a variable picture.
However, the CQC said there were signs of improvement in every one of the services inspected.
Services which improved from requires improvement to good or maintained a good rating were praised for providing safe care for patients with staff understanding medical guidelines and best practice.
End-of-life care was praised for implementing an action plan since the 2016 inspection to address concerns about safety, effectiveness and leadership.