CQC publishes report on Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Wonford

19 Mar 2021

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a report following an announced focused inspection of the acute services provided by Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Wonford, part of Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.

The inspection took place in January to look at infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, as the trust had experienced more than one outbreak of hospital transmitted COVID-19 infections. An outbreak is where there are two or more test confirmed, or clinically suspected cases, in a specific setting. 

Due to the targeted focus of the inspection, the overall rating of the trust and Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital did not change and remains Good in both cases.

Amanda Williams, CQC’s Head of Hospital Inspection for the South West, said: “I am pleased to report that Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital had effective processes in place to support standards of infection prevention and control, including managing cleanliness and creating a suitable environment. Staff received training in safe infection prevention and control procedures in line with national guidance and were aware of the trust’s IPC policies.

“In addition, the trust was focused on learning from mistakes and continuously improving IPC practices. There was an action plan in place to meet identified goals. Auditing of all infections had taken place and learnings had been shared across the trust.  

“However, there were isolated occasions, particularly during busy periods, when some infection prevention control measures were not being followed according to recommended guidance. We have asked the trust to monitor this and take action to assure themselves of compliance regarding the appropriate levels of personal protective equipment, including enhanced personal protective equipment, to ensure its use is in line with national guidance.” 

During the inspection, CQC noted the following: 

  • Leaders operated effective governance processes. Staff at all levels were clear about their roles and accountabilities. Governance structures and the communication within them were effective to ensure that changes and learning supported patient safety across the trust. 
  • Leaders understood and managed the priorities and issues the service faced. They were visible and approachable in the service for both patients and staff. 
  • Staff felt respected, supported and valued. The service had an open culture where staff could raise concerns without fear. 
  • It was evident from speaking with staff that the challenges caused by the pandemic were both physically and mentally challenging, but they remained passionate about providing quality care to their patients.
  • The service collected reliable data and analysed it. Staff could find the data they needed, in easily accessible formats. The information systems were integrated and secure. 
  • Leaders and teams used systems to manage performance effectively. They identified and escalated relevant risks and issues and identified actions to reduce their impact.
  • All staff were committed to continually learning and improving services. There were systems and processes for learning, continuous improvement, and innovation. Leaders and staff also collaborated with partner organisations to help improve services for patients. 

The RD&E welcomed the report, and Suzanne Tracey, Chief Executive, said: “We welcome the CQC inspection and report that underlines the excellent work that has gone on across the Trust to keep our patients and staff safe, during one of the most challenging periods ever experienced by the NHS.

“We have worked very hard to ensure that we have followed - and at times gone above and beyond - the national guidelines recommended by PHE in our drive to be safe. As we move into a lower prevalence period we must continue to be vigilant, and we will continue to review our infection control measures to ensure that they are proportionate and effective.”

Full details of the inspection are given in the report published online: www.cqc.org.uk/location/RH801

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