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CQC Ratings
Darent Valley Hospital

CQC rating

New CQC report shows Trust is a low risk organisation.


The latest report by the health regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has confirmed that Dartford and Gravesham continues to be a well-run, low risk NHS Trust.


The CQC has categorised trusts into one of six bands which indicate the level of risk associated with the organisation, with Band 1 representing highest risk and Band 6 with the lowest. These bands have been assigned based on the proportion of indicators that have been identified as ‘risk’ or ‘elevated risk’ or if there are known serious concerns.


The Trust Chief Executive, Susan Acott, said, “Dartford and Gravesham was placed in Band 5, that means it is a safe organisation, and I am delighted that the CQC Intelligent Monitoring Report published in June confirms that the risk profile for the Trust continues to be low”.


The Intelligent Monitoring Reports, published twice a year, include more than 150 key indicators including patient feedback, infection rates, mortality and the reporting of safety incidents.


This link takes you to the Trust Intelligent Monitoring Report, July 2015.


These key indicators are linked to the five questions which underpin the new CQC inspection model, these being; is the Trust safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led?


The CQC's chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said intelligent monitoring will be used as a "screening tool which helps to give us a good picture of risk within trusts”. He added that this would determine whether an NHS Trust was likely to be high-risk or not and will show where the CQC needs to focus inspections.


The Intelligent Monitoring Report compliments the CQC Darent Valley Hospital Quality Report, published in July 2014. The Trust volunteered to be one of three national pilot sites for the new ratings and was inspected in December 2013 by a team comprising CQC inspectors and analysts, doctors, nurses, patient ‘Experts by Experience’ and senior NHS managers.


The inspection team reported that they found a culture where staff were positive, engaged and very loyal to the organisation. They also reported that the staff and management were open and transparent about the challenges they faced.


The CQC Inspection rated the Trust as ‘good’ in respect of safety, effectiveness, being caring, and being well-led.


This link takes you to the CQC Inspection report.


The Trust was very open with the CQC about the pressures caused by high bed occupancy. The CQC inspectors felt that the high levels of activity in the hospital at times compromised the privacy and dignity of patients and so rated the Trust as requiring improvement in this area.


Since the inspection the Trust has:

  • Improved privacy for patients in the Accident and Emergency Department as part of the overall redesign of the department. The new A&E is expected to be fully open in the autumn of 2015.
  • Increased the number of doctors working in A&E on substantive contracts, reducing the reliance on locum staff.
  • Increased the number of children’s nurses to allow the Paediatric Emergency Department to be staffed by paediatric trained nurses for 24 hours a day.
  • Developed the Integrated Discharge Team (a whole-system team with multi-agency membership) to focus on avoiding admissions where possible and supporting early discharge. The IDT also now has direct access to Kent Community Health Trust beds
  • Continued to use Elm Court, located at the local BUPA home, to provide valuable intermediate rehabilitation and care and to reduce occupancy at Darent Valley Hospital.
  • Established multi-agency working with the CCG, Social Services and Kent Community Healthcare Trust to manage a reduction in emergency care activity.
  • Installed additional monitors in the Clinical Decisions Unit to provide separate, bays for male and female patients who are ill and need continuous monitoring.
  • Replaced the traditional whiteboards on wards with an electronic system called ‘Visiward’ which allows patient information to be more secure.
  • Started a programme of monitoring led by the Director of Nursing to carry out unannounced inspections across the Trust.

For more information on the CQC Intelligent Monitoring and Quality Reports visit the Care Quality Commission website here.