England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has praised significant improvements made by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to manage the flow of patients through the emergency departments.

The trust was rated Good overall following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission during June and July. The rating for providing responsive services has now been raised to Outstanding.

Inspectors found that substantial measures had been put in place trust-wide to manage the flow of patients through the emergency departments.

There had also been significant improvements in end of life services. The trust had established a team that quickly intervened to support patients and their families at home which helped to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, and supported people’s end of life choices in a dignified and respectful way.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals at CQC, Professor Ted Baker, said: “There has been some Outstanding work done at the trust in response to patient needs – particularly the work in end of life care and the way the trust supports patients to get early access to services.

“Patients we spoke with were entirely positive about the way their care needs were met. We found clear evidence of a knowledgeable and steady leadership who were committed to continual improvement and instilling a shared vision of high quality care.

“There are also some areas for improvement – and we have made this clear to the trust.  We will return to check the trust’s progress in due course.”

Royal Hallamshire Hospital maintained its Good rating, with an improved rating for end of life care services. The service reviewed evidence and best practice guidelines to help improve the care for patients. Over 100 end of life champions were appointed to the hospital and were supported by a knowledgeable clinic practice educator who delivered and coordinated all aspects of training and new staff inductions.

Weston Park Hospital remained Requires Improvement overall. However, improvements were seen in medical care and end of life services. The trust planned services to meet patient needs and the team worked closely with local community services so the care provided could better tailored to the individual. The Hospital’s rating for responsive services improved to Outstanding.

Community health services maintained its Good rating overall. Inspectors found the service was working well to engage patients, staff and local organisations to help coordinate services efficiently.

CQC has also published the trust’s Use of Resources report, which is based on an assessment undertaken by NHS Improvement. The trust has been rated as Good for using its resources productively.

The combined rating for the trust, taking into account CQC’s inspection for the quality of services and NHSI’s assessment of Use of Resources, is Good.

Full details of the ratings for all core services are given in the report published online at: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/rhq