The NHS 111 service in the East Midlands has been rated Outstanding by regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The service is provided by DHU Health Care, and has bases in Derby, Chesterfield and Leicester. The CQC carried out a comprehensive inspection of the 111 service earlier this year as part of their scheduled inspection programme.
The CQC assesses health and social care services against five key questions. The ratings given to DHU’s 111 service were:
- Overall rating: Outstanding
- Are services safe?: Good
- Are services effective?: Good
- Are services caring?: Good
- Are services responsive?: Outstanding
- Are services well-led?: Outstanding
During their wide-ranging assessment, the CQC team found that:
- The service routinely reviewed the effectiveness and appropriateness of the care it provided
- Staff involved and treated people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect
- Performance had been consistently higher than other similar services
- The service innovated to improve patient outcomes and to benefit the wider health care community and stakeholders.
Inspectors highlighted a number of areas of outstanding practice. These included working with commissioners to ensure that Special Patient Notes had clear instructions to help health advisors get the patient to the right outcome within their own care plan, and a strong emphasis on staff health and well-being including mental health. DHU Health Care has also introduced an NHS 111 Career Framework to support staff development.
As well as detailed research and observation, the CQC inspectors gave staff working in the call centres the opportunity to leave anonymous feedback. The inspectors commented, “All respondents provided detailed and thoughtful answers to our questions that demonstrated they had a good awareness of patient safety matters, complaints and significant events. All respondents expressed positive views of management and the way they treated and supported staff.”
Pauline Hand, Managing Director of the 111 service, said, “We are extremely proud that the CQC has rated our service as Outstanding overall. It shows that our continuing emphasis on innovation and development has been recognised as positively benefitting our patients. It is also a great tribute to the care, professionalism and dedication of our 111 staff.”