Bosses of Hartlepool and Stockton hospitals ‘very positive’ after inspection

The University Hospital of Hartlepool
The University Hospital of Hartlepool

Hospital chiefs say they believe a visit by inspectors from an official regulator was a success.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is currently inspecting hospital services provided by the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

If there was anything of serious concern they would have raised it and they haven’t

Paul Garvin, hospital Trust chairman

Inspectors spent time alongside hospital staff between July 7 and 10 and are due to make an unannounced visit any time soon.

Hospital trust leaders told a meeting of the board yesterday how they believed the planned visit was a success and no major issues were raised.

A public listening event to gauge the views of patients, which was held at the Grand Hotel in Hartlepool, on July 6, was said to have had a “very high” attendance.

Cath Siddle, the trust’s director of nursing, patient safety and quality, told the board: “It was a very challenging but exciting week. The inspectors spent four days in the organisation with staff and with patients looking at care and the quality of care across the organisation and I would like to commend the response from our patients and our clinical teams in managing what was a very significant event for the organisation.

“We had a good relationship and it was very positive throughout that we were inspected.”

Chairman of the trust Paul Garvin said: “If there was anything of serious concern they would have raised it and they haven’t.

“The bits of feedback I got was the CQC felt very welcome in the organisation.”

A number of events to get the opinions of the public were held before the inspection of the trust’s services.

Ms Siddle added: “There were public engagement sessions in both Stockton and Hartlepool and I’m informed by the CQC the attendance was very high in Hartlepool, not quite so high in Stockton.”

Members of the Town of Hartlepool Challenge group, which is campaigning for a return of services to the University Hospital of Hartlepool, promoted the event and collected dozens of completed questionnaires which they handed over to the CQC at the listening event in Hartlepool.

The CQC will produce a draft report of its findings which is due to be completed by October, although the board heard it may be later.

The trust will have 10 days to comment on any factual inaccuracies.

Stakeholders including the trust and local commissioners, regulator Monitor will meet to hear the final findings and the trust will produce an action plan.

The trust will be required to publish the CQC’s rating.

Since last September, the CQC has been carrying out more in-depth inspections of hospitals using much larger and more expert teams.