Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust takes swift action on Care Quality Commission findings

Published: 4 March 2022

In December 2021 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected three wards at Torbay Hospital. During their visit they found a number of important issues that required action.

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust have taken these findings very seriously and made immediate improvements, which the CQC have recognised.

Liz Davenport, Chief Executive for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We fully accept the findings detailed in the Care Quality Commission report and have acted immediately to make the improvements. During the time they visited we were challenged by increased rates of staff sickness absence due to the pandemic. However, our staffing levels are regularly reviewed and supported by the use of bank and agency staff to ensure adequate staffing arrangements.

“We took a number of actions straightaway to make the necessary improvements across not just the wards inspected but also to ensure good practice was shared across all of our wards. As a key part of this we have had an absolute focus on ensuring there is good monitoring of patient’s nutrition and hydration and that those who need support are given it.

“We have introduced six steps to patient safety on nutrition and hydration across all our wards. Within 24 hours of arrival on our wards, all patients receive a risk assessment which identifies any specialist needs that they may have in relation to eating and drinking. Every morning each patient is reviewed and we assign dedicated staff to support those patients who need help with eating or drinking.

“We have strengthened our approach to protected meal times so that we are giving patients and staff the time and space to focus on eating and drinking making sure that patients receive the right meal at the right time with the right amount of help. We have introduced meal time buddies who help to create a relaxed and friendly environment, encouraging patients to eat their meals while providing assistance and companionship.

“We also have ambitious but achievable plans to fill 95% of nursing vacancies including speeding up processes particularly for overseas recruitment while ensuring all necessary checks are completed.

“I am pleased that the CQC also found good practice around training in key skills areas and that when things did go wrong staff were open and honest with patients and that there was good learning and actions were taken.

“We are absolutely determined to make the necessary improvements and continue learning and improving. I would like to thank our staff, who CQC recognised are working extremely hard during challenging times, for taking onboard the learning and for their absolute commitment to providing the best possible care for our patients.

“As this was a focused inspection, medical care services were not rated on this occasion and the previous rating of requires improvement for medical care services remains. Our overall CQC rating remains good.”

NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group Chief Nurse, Darryn Allcorn said:

“NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group recognises that Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust has made some immediate changes following the CQC visit on 01 December 2021; to ensure that patients have sufficient nutrition and hydration and that additional support is provided where needed.

The CCG will support the trust to make further improvements to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

NHS organisations in Devon are continuing to work together to recruit more nurses and other healthcare staff, both locally and abroad, to fill vacancies.”