High rating for hospital care

Sheffield Children's Hospital, Western Bank
Sheffield Children's Hospital, Western Bank
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Sheffield Children’s Hospital has been rated ‘good’ following its first inspection under a new regime - with the health watchdog judging its services to be ‘safe, effective and caring’.

The children’s hospital was visited by one of the Care Quality Commission’s inspection teams, which now include doctors, nurses, members of the public and hospital managers.

Individual Ofsted-style ratings were also given to each of the hospital’s main services for the first time.

Accident and emergency, surgery, critical care, neonatal services and outpatients were rated ‘good’. Palliative and end-of-life care were deemed to be ‘outstanding’.

But the Care Quality Commission raised concerns about overnight staffing levels in A&E, as well as treatment areas which were ‘not secure’.

A report said staff treated patients and their families with ‘care and respect’.

“Staff were caring and friendly, and sensitive to the cultural needs of families from ethnically diverse backgrounds,” inspectors said.

But there were too few doctors on duty between midnight and 8am in A&E and in the acute assessment unit, the report said.

“At times, the treatment areas were not secure and the public could gain access to the area without being challenged,” said the CQC.

Simon Morritt, chief executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said that staff were ‘not complacent’.

“We know there is always room to do more,” he said.

“Where areas for improvement have been identified we are taking immediate action, as we continue to strive to offer the best possible care for our young patients.”

A spokesman for the trust added that it was actively recruiting more staff and that it would review its arrangements around keeping treatment areas secure.

“We encourage parents and family members to be with their child at all times and there is a balance to be struck between this and restricting access,” he said.