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East Staffs community services rated as ‘good’

Local NHS Services provided by us to support people living with health conditions in East Staffordshire have been rated as ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors said ‘staff went over and above what was expected of them’ and ‘displayed determination and creativity’ when delivering care.

They added that our leadership was ‘inclusive and effective’ and that ‘staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and took account of their individual needs’.

The comments were made in the CQC’s report which has been published following the government regulator’s latest unannounced inspection of the Community Services Virgin Care provide in East Staffordshire, which include District Nurses, Community Matrons, Rapid Response, Continence Service, Community Dietician, Learning Disability Nurse and Community Therapies.

The report rates the services as ‘good’ overall and ‘good’ in each of the five measures inspectors use – considering whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

The findings come just months after Virgin Care informed NHS East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) it would have to step aside from April next year as an end to a £1million annual gap between the funding from the CCG and the minimum cost of delivering services could not be agreed.

Virgin Care has vowed to continue providing high quality care in East Staffordshire for the remainder of its time running the services, covering the gap in funding, and said it would fully support the CCG during the transition to a new provider. The process to find a new provider is well underway.

The Inspectors added: “The service planned and provided services in a way that met the needs of local people. The services provided reflected the needs of the population served and they ensured flexibility, choice and continuity of care.

“Staff of different kinds worked together as a team to benefit patients. District nurses and other allied healthcare professionals supported each other to provide good care.

“Staff cared for patients with compassion. Feedback from patients confirmed that staff treated them well and with kindness. People who used the service told us that staff went over and above what was expected of them.

“Staff we spoke with overwhelmingly felt positive and proud to work in the organisation. The culture centred on the needs and experience of people who used services. Staff told us that they felt pride in the organisation and the work the carried out to ensure patients received good quality care.”

Figures show that from October last year our community services helped over 900 people avoid being admitted to hospital – helping them to remain well at home and independent.

In addition, we have invested in a one stop shop Care Coordination Centre (CCC), which offers access to all community services via a single telephone number and referral form.

This takes around 4,000 calls per month from health professionals and patients to ensure people receive the right care, by the right professional at the right time.

Other improvements include the introduction of mobile technology for Community Nurses so they can securely access and update patient information, as well as book and view appointments via handheld tablets without having to travel back to base.

This means nurses have more time to spend with patients by reducing their administration burden and travel time.

In addition, patients consistently rate Virgin Care community services in East Staffs highly with over 98% in 2018/19 saying they would be extremely likely or likely to recommend services via the Friends and Family survey.

Pat Birchall, Managing Director for our services in East Staffordshire, said: “We are delighted by the CQC’s good rating, which is nothing less than what our incredibly dedicated and passionate colleagues deserve for the amazing services they provide to local people in East Staffordshire.

“Thanks to their hard work and commitment, local people with health conditions are receiving the right support at the right time to help them to remain as well and independent as possible and avoid unnecessary trips to hospital. I am incredibly proud of the high quality of the services that we will be handing over to a new provider next year.”

A full copy of the report can be seen here

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