Horton gets glowing review in inspection

The Horton hospital ENGNNL00120130116160414
The Horton hospital ENGNNL00120130116160414

Banbury’s Horton Hospital has been given a glowing review by inspectors and patients alike, with ‘good’ grades across the board.

A report by the Care Quality Commission which examined care, surgical and medical services in February has found little fault with the Horton.

The Churchill and Nuffield hospitals, also part of the Oxford University Hospitals Trust, are also ‘good’ while the John Radcliffe ‘requires improvement’ in various areas including A&E and surgery.

As well as hearing patients’ views, inspectors held listening events.

The Horton report said: ‘In Banbury a number of people said they were not consulted by the trust about changes to services. People, patients and staff were concerned specifically about the removal of emergency surgery. The main concern of staff was feeling their voice was not heard by the trust.’

The findings showed almost all staff were caring. Patients said staff were considerate, treating them with kindness and respect.

Patients and carers at maternity and the children’s ward said staff were welcoming, caring and kin d. A&E staff were also praised for their kindness. End of life care was caring, professional and supportive.

Staff felt the hospital was well led at local, departmental level and they felt proud to work at the Horton. But they did not feel they were always included and consulted in plans by the trust. Some said they felt isolated.

The report describes A&E as providing good, safe care with qualified and experienced staff with strong local leadership and direction, dedicated to their service and patients.

Patients described the service as excellent and wonderful. Any missed targets were mostly due to blockages caused by lack of inpatient beds, through no fault of A&E.

Patients, carers and staff agreed surgical staff provided compassionate, empathetic care. Concern was expressed about some patient treatment being delayed because of difficulty getting MRI scan appointments in Oxford.

The report said potential staff had been deterred because of perceived threats to the hospital’s future.

Cleanliness at the Horton is good with good infection control.

Critical care provides excellent service with good outcomes. But in spite of skilled and experienced anaesthetists and consultants, not all had critical care training.

CQC spokesman John Hunt said: “At the John Radcliffe, many services were delivered to a good standard, although the inspectors found Accident & Emergency and surgery needed to improve.

“While services were effective, shortages of staff within the maternity department and on surgical wards and in operating theatres meant that staff were not able to provide the best care at all times.

“Bed occupancy within the hospital was so high that it was having an impact on the quality of care, with A&E failing to meet national targets to admit, transfer or discharge patients within four hours.

“Inspectors were told that operations were regularly cancelled due to lack of theatre capacity, shortage of staff or inefficient planning. In outpatients, there were not enough appointments to meet demand and clinics were overbooked, causing long waiting times and late cancellations.”

Read the full report at