Norfolk health body given thumbs up

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A national body has found that people in Norfolk are receiving good quality, effective and caring health services from a responsive and well-led community trust following an inspection earlier this autumn.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its report into the services provided by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCHC), which it rates overall as “good”. The findings come following a three-day inspection in September, which saw inpatient services, services for adults, community dental services, end of life care and services for children, young people and families all come under the spotlight.

In its report, the CQC highlights a number of areas of good practice at the trust, such as: the care and compassion shown to patients by staff

the use of an electronic palliative care coordination system so that people’s choices about where they die and the nature of the care and support they receive was respected and achieved wherever possible

the trust’s ‘Safer Staffing Tool’, which records the numbers of staff on duty on each ward.

an outstanding approach to the development of pathways within the school nursing team.

some excellent examples of responsive services, such as the Starfish plus team, which provides intensive mental health support to young people and their families at times of crisis

examples of integrating care with other providers so that patients receive joined-up, seamless services

Inspectors also noted that NCHC’s staff were appropriately skilled, qualified and experienced, and carried out their roles safely and effectively.

The report said: “Throughout our inspection, staff spoke with compassion, dignity and respect regarding the patients they cared for. We found all of the services we inspected to be providing compassionate care.

“Community end of life, inpatient and adult community services were delivering a compassionate service which also promoted patients privacy and dignity. We observed positive interactions between staff and patients in their homes and in every unit we inspected.

“Comments (from patients) were overwhelmingly positive, with patients commenting on the quality of staff, high standards of care they had received and timeliness of accessing the right care at the right time.”

Roisin Fallon-Williams, chief executive with NCH&C, said: “We are pleased with the overall results of this inspection, which endorses the fact that our dedicated staff are delivering high quality, compassionate care to patients, both in their own homes and within our inpatient and clinic facilities.

“The report highlights many areas for celebration, including excellent comments about our staff, the end of life care we provide and the ways we ensure safe staffing levels in all of our services. It also shows patients accessing our services are treated with dignity, while their privacy is respected and efforts made to ensure their individual needs are met.

“We are very grateful to our staff for the efforts they make every day to deliver the best possible care to patients and this report is a reminder that all of us at NCHC have much to be proud of.

“There are areas in which we can improve further, such as within some of our medicines management processes and ensuring every single patient has a clear, individualised care plan in place. We are already taking action to address these areas and will drive through further improvements over the coming weeks and months so that we continue to provide the highest possible standards of care to everyone using our services.”

Mark Cubbon, portfolio firector for the NHS Trust Development Authority said: “This is a great achievement by the Trust and a testament to the drive and commitment of their staff to provide high quality services.

“We will support the Trust as they continue to deliver sustainable improvements in the areas identified, and commend their staff for working to ensure local patients receive the best possible care.”