The first children’s hospital to be rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust has become the first dedicated children’s hospital to be rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The trust was rated ‘outstanding’ on the markers of caring, effective and responsive. It was rated ‘good’ for the marker of being well led, however, in terms of safety the inspectors said the hospital required improvements.

The inspection looked at a number of different areas including: A&E, medical care, surgery, paediatric critical care, neonatal care, end of life care, transition services, outpatients and child and adolescent mental health services.

The Chief Inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, drew attention to the culture of support and team work in the trust. All children referred to the hospital were seen within 6 weeks and no child waited more than 4 hours to be admitted. The report also highlighted how staff provided outstanding personalised care to patients with learning disabilities, and how ‘storytelling therapists’ would work to help ease children’s anxiety during their time in hospital.

Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “Feedback from parents and children was extremely positive, with many reporting they were treated with respect and dignity. Bereaved parents were given genuine, compassionate care with clear emotional support if a child died.”

There were specific concerns about neonatal services which were rated as inadequate for safety and community mental health services for children and young people were also criticised. However, in the report, the CQC said that their inspectors would return at a later date to check on the progress in these areas.