SWFT named as only outstanding healthcare provider in Midlands

Glen Burley outside Stratford's Cancer and Eye Hospital.

The South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has been rated as the only ‘outstanding’ healthcare provider in the Midlands and one of only ten in the whole country.

The rating, awarded to SWFT by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), is the highest possible rating and shows the care provided to local people is amongst the best in the NHS.

It follows a number of inspections across the trust.

It is now rated as ‘outstanding’ for being responsive and well-led and ‘good’ for whether services are safe, effective and caring.

Among the CQC’s findings were that patients and their families were truly respected and valued as individuals and that staff worked well together for the benefit of patients, supporting them to make decisions about their care.

The organisation praises the leadership at SWFT, saying it is compassionate, inclusive and effective at all levels, with leaders having the skills and abilities to run and deliver high quality patient-centred care.

It adds that the Trust had shown that innovation and continuous improvement was at the heart of the organisation.

The result marks quite a turnaround for SWFT which back in 2016 was rated as ‘requires improvement’ by the CQC, before moving up to a ‘good’ rating in 2018.

Since then it has improved further still.

Chief Executive Glen Burley said: “I have always been proud to be the CEO of this Trust, but reading the CQC’s report I feel prouder than ever. I want to congratulate and thank our entire workforce because fantastic achievements like this are only possible through real team work.

“The inspection team picked up on this collaborative approach in addition to many other aspects of the unique culture we have at SWFT.

“Together we have developed a national reputation for being one of the best providers in the World’s best healthcare service, our great NHS, and this rating cements it.

“Although we are now officially outstanding we are aware that we are not perfect. I want to reassure our patients and partners that we will continue to strive to be even better, using this as a catalyst to be more innovative.”

Chief inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, added: “On our return to South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust we found further improvements had been made since our previous inspection and I’m delighted that the trust is now rated as ‘outstanding’ overall.

“During our inspection we noted many areas of outstanding practice. Inspectors were particularly impressed by the strength of leadership at the trust. The trust’s desire to drive service improvement for the benefit of patients, carers, and the wider system was evident throughout the inspection.

“Staff at all levels were clear and passionate about their roles and accountabilities and had regular opportunities to meet, discuss and learn. The trust engaged well with patients, families, the local community and external partners to help improve services.

“Staff treated patients and their families with great compassion and kindness and always took account of their individual needs. Patients and their families were truly respected, and staff found innovative ways to provide emotional support to minimise any distress.

“We did identify a small number of areas where the trust could make further improvements. Overwhelmingly, however, we found a trust that provides excellent care and they should be commended for this. The trust board and all staff are to be congratulated for their hard work in achieving such high standards across services.”

The Herald approached SWFT for further comment about the CQC’s findings but were told the Mr Burley was not available to speak to because of purdah, ahead of the upcoming election.