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CQC report into UHB published today

Published on 08/03/2024

Care Quality Commission logo
Care Quality Commission logo

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today (Friday 8 March 2024) published their report into University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), from their inspections in August and October 2023.

Following these inspections, the following services have been rated:

  • Being safe and responsive has been re-rated as ‘requires improvement’
  • Effective and caring has been re-rated as ‘good’
  • Well-led has declined from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’

Critical care at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB):

  • The rating has declined from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’ overall and for being well-led
  • Being safe has declined from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’

The overall rating for UHB remains as requires improvement.

Statement from Dame Yve Buckland, Chair, and Jonathan Brotherton, Chief Executive, at UHB

“We would like to thank the CQC for their report, which relates to their inspections carried out in August and October 2023.

“Providing safe and excellent care to our 2.2 million patients is the most important priority for us, which is recognised in the CQC’s re-rating of ‘good’ for ‘effective and caring’. UHB cares for and treats more patients than any other hospital trust in the country; everyone at UHB wants our patients and their families to be confident and assured that the care and treatment we provide are safe and effective. We also want our colleagues to feel proud of the quality of care that they are giving, and we are incredibly proud of their unwavering dedication, in the face of very challenging circumstances.

“The CQC’s findings are very similar to those of the reviews into our organisation, reported throughout 2023, prompting swift action and on-going transformation.

“We are pleased that the CQC’s findings recognise that while improvement is still in its early stages, with good initial work done, the significant change required will take time.

“We believe that the significant changes in our leadership, the new devolved group operating model with local hospital-based leadership and the actions set out in our improvement programme, since the CQC’s visit, evidence our commitment to learning, improving and evolving.

“But we know that culture change cannot be fixed rapidly, or superficially, and that we have a considerable amount of work to do so that the changes are felt by all colleagues.

“It is imperative that all of us, as leaders, strive to build trust amongst everyone to ensure UHB is the best place to work and flourish, as well as the best place for our patients to be treated.

“We have zero tolerance, to racism, misogyny, and all forms of discrimination. While we are encouraged more colleagues are feeling confident to speak up, we want everyone to feel safe to do so and are reorganising our Freedom to Speak up services in consultation with our freedom to speak up leads, staff representatives and trade unions to make sure that it meets the needs of all colleagues and gives confidence to them in raising their concerns. We have been undertaking an internal review, learning from lived experience, which will strengthen our mechanisms and outcomes in response to concerns raised.

“We are disappointed in the rating change for our critical care services at QEHB. Since the CQC’s inspection, there have been significant improvements with recruitment and retention, within a department made fragile and deeply impacted by being on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, with now a near-full establishment of staff and an improving skill mix.

“We fully recognise we have a lot to do and know we have not yet been able to fix all the problems – many long-standing and built up over many years. However, we have changed and continue to change, the way we respond to and approach those problems. It is reassuring that the CQC has recognised that we were at the beginning of a major transformation programme when they visited; there were the beginnings of change and recovery, as well as recognition of present and past concerns, but there had not yet been sufficient time to test the new ways of working or their impact.

“To support our incredible colleagues to do their very best for patients, we will continue our unrelenting focus on building a values-led culture and know this will take some time. We will in the meantime continue to address unacceptable behaviours that are not in line with our Trust values of Kind, Connected and Bold, so everyone feels valued and respected for their unique contribution to their service and our organisation.”

The full report is available on the CQC website:

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