Doncaster hospitals require improvement says new Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection report

Following an inspection last year, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals’ (DBTH) Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating has been adjusted from 'Good' to 'Requires Improvement'.
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Despite the change in rating, the CQC report published today, Thursday 28 March, recognised a number of areas of quality care and practice at the Trust, which continues to be rated ‘Good’ for caring. Additionally, none of the services at Bassetlaw Hospital, Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Montagu Hospital have been rated as ‘Inadequate’.

As part of the process, inspectors from the CQC visited the Trust in August and October 2023 during a period of industrial action, and assessed whether services were safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led across core services of Urgent and Emergency Care, Surgery, Medicine, Diagnostics and Maternity Services.

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Richard Parker OBE, Chief Executive of DBTH, said: "Whilst this change of rating is disappointing, it is not surprising given the immense challenges we've faced in recent years. From the onset of the pandemic to our subsequent and ongoing efforts to recover and address our backlog, we are clear as to our current position, and the steps we need to take to get back to, and beyond, the level we were at just a few short years ago."

Doncastr Royal Infirmary requires improvement.Doncastr Royal Infirmary requires improvement.
Doncastr Royal Infirmary requires improvement.

Since the unannounced inspection six months ago, the Trust has made significant progress, and the recent Staff Survey results showed positive changes, 94% indicating improvements in staff experiences.

Additionally, in the past 12 months, the Trust has made numerous appointments to senior roles, including a Deputy Chief Executive, with a new organisational strategy in development to outline plans for the next five years. The Trust has also invested heavily in capital projects, such as the Community Diagnostic Centre, Mexborough Elective Orthopaedic Centre and Bassetlaw Emergency Village, and last year delivered a record-breaking £48 million in infrastructure developments.

Richard continued: “Now that we are able to return to business as usual, an enormous amount of work is taking place, and has been delivered. Initiatives such as the DBTH Way, Just Culture, as well as the introduction of a number of supporting strategies specifically for People, Nursing, Midwifery, Research and Innovation, Speaking Up and Health Inequalities, will help to guide the organisation as we strive to deliver the highest quality of care for local people.

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“Unfortunately some of the challenges raised by inspectors relate to the condition and infrastructure of the buildings we currently use, particularly at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Whilst in the short-term this issue is harder to overcome, we continue to make the case for a new hospital in Doncaster, or, as an alternative, significant refurbishment which would address these issues.”

The Trust operates Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital and Montagu Hospital and cares for 500,000 outpatients, 125,000 inpatients and 175,000 emergency admissions everyyear.

Karen Jessop, Chief Nurse, added: "An aspect of the report we are particularly proud of, and that stands out amidst the findings, is the consistent acknowledgment of the caring nature of colleagues.

"Patients have expressed feeling safe and well-cared for by our teams, which is a testament to the compassion and professionalism evidenced by Team DBTH each and every day.

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“Whilst we understand that there is work ahead to improve, we are incredibly excited for the future, and the improvements we are confident that we will be able to implement.

“I want to express our sincere gratitude to our colleagues throughout the Trust, for their dedication and hard work. It's through your unwavering commitment that we can overcome challenges and continue to improve the quality of care we provide.

"Together, we can address areas for improvement, celebrate successes, and reaffirm our commitment to delivering exceptional care for all.”

The reports are published on the CQC website at

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