CARE by Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital staff has been rated 'outstanding' by inspectors, while the overall quality of services has improved and Musgrove is 'good' overall.

A Care Quality Commission report of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust was generally positive, although some areas need improvement.

Urgent and emergency services and end of life care, surgery and outpatients and the 'well led' trust overall are good.

Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: "Musgrove Park Hospital continues to provide a good service to the people of Taunton and Somerset, with services rated outstanding for caring.

"I'm pleased that during this inspection we've been able to record improvements in some important services – notably with better outcomes for patients in the emergency department and end of life care.

"Overall we've found the trust to be well led, with a dedicated management team who understood the challenges the organisation faced and were committed to sustainable care that extended beyond the borders of the hospital.

"The trust needs to focus on patient safety, where we require further improvements. We'll continue to monitor the trust’s performance and will return in due course to check on further progress."

Inspectors found:

  • significant improvements in the emergency department, particularly paediatric nursing, although areas of sepsis treatment need improvement;
  • theatre safety and surgical site infection issues have been addressed, although some patients aren't treated within target times;
  • the delivery of service and outcomes for end of life patients has improved, but records are not always complete;
  • outpatients staff feel the culture in various departments has improved;
  • outstanding practice in urgent and emergency care, end of life care, outpatients, and surgery services. But there are areas for improvement, including breaches of five regulations the trust must address.

Peter Lewis, joint chief executive at Musgrove Park Hospital and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, welcomed the positive comments about staff, good leadership and the hospital overall and the recognition of improvements over the past year.

Somerset County Gazette:

Peter Lewis.

He said: "Inspectors highlighted a number of examples of good practice, including our new A&E safety checklist which was described as outstanding.

"They commented we have improved the safety of our care and treatment of children in A&E, and highlighted that our surgical staff work in a supportive environment that encourages reporting of incidents and learning on the rare occasion when things do go wrong.

"They welcomed our commitment to support sustainable care for the population of Somerset, outside of the acute hospital, and our joint work with Somerset Partnership Trust and local GPs. They observed a strong culture for delivering high-quality care and highlighted our focus on improvement.

"Inspectors recognised we have greatly improved our end of life care and the CQC said we make every effort to meet individuals’ needs and treat patients and their families with respect and compassion."

While admitting some areas need further improvement, Mr Lewis added: "It’s a great achievement for our staff’s care to be rated as outstanding."