Hertfordshire health chiefs told to improve

Health picture
Health picture

County health bosses have vowed to make changes after inspectors said improvements were needed.

The Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust was given an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its findings from an inspection in February.

The Trust provides healthcare for 1.1million people across the county with services such as speech and language therapy, sexual health and diabetes care.

The CQC found that it needed to up its game in the Safe, Effective and Well-Led categories, which were all rated as requiring improvement. However, it scored ‘good’ in both the Caring and Responsive sectors.

The trust’s chief executive David Law said: “Having spoken to the lead inspector, it is clear the trust is very close to achieving a Good rating.

“We have already made changes to ensure we make improvements where needed.

“Our staff are keen to show the inspectors that the improvements identified have been delivered and we are working with the CQC to plan a re-inspection before the end of the year.”

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “Overall Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust was rated that it required improvement.

“However within this there were elements in every core service that was good. Children’s services were good overall and dental services were rated as outstanding.

“The trust’s leadership knows what it must now do to ensure those improvements take place and our inspectors will return to check on progress in the future.”

The report highlights strong incident reporting and an ‘open and caring culture’.

However, there needs to be better management of recruitment and vacancies, as well as tighter clinical records.