Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust rated Good by CQC

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the services provided by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust as Good overall following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The inspection marks the first time the trust has been inspected and rated since Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust merged on 1 October 2017.

A team of CQC inspectors visited the trust in October and November 2018 to review all 42 core services provided from 11 locations. They also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well-led?

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust has been rated as Good overall, and Outstanding for providing services that are caring.

Royal Manchester Eye Hospital, the University Dental Hospital of Manchester and the trust’s mental health services have all been rated Outstanding. Manchester Royal Infirmary is rated Requires Improvement.

Full details of the ratings, including ratings for each individual service are given in the report published online at:

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said:

“This was our first comprehensive inspection of the trust since its merger in 2017.   Overall, we found a high standard of care across the organisation. The trust had an experienced leadership team with the skills, abilities, and commitment to provide excellent services. 

“Inspectors saw many areas of outstanding practice across the trust, with care delivered by compassionate and knowledgeable staff. There were a number of teams leading by example with a continuous focus on quality improvement. In particular, we saw outstanding services at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, the University Dental Hospital Manchester, the community child and adolescent mental health services and the adult critical care services across the Trust.

“At Manchester Royal Infirmary we found improvements needed to be made within surgery and that patients could not always access treatment in a timely way – particularly in the emergency department.

“At the time of the inspection we identified a number of concerns that the trust should address as a priority.  We will continue to monitor the trust’s performance and will return in due to report on its progress.”

Overall the trust has been rated Good for safety. Inspectors found that most staff were confident to report incidents and learning from incidents was disseminated to staff across the trust. Effective systems were in place to safeguard patients. The environment was mostly clean and tidy and infection rates were low, although at Manchester Royal Infirmary, there were areas of the emergency department, where some equipment was visibly dirty and there were inconsistent infection control practices in theatres. 

There were challenges to staffing levels, however processes were in place to manage these. There were particular areas of concern regarding staffing in the emergency departments at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Wythenshawe Hospital.

Inspectors found that services were effective, with care and treatment based on national guidance and evidence. There was a strong learning culture and opportunities for staff to develop. At Manchester Royal Infirmary outcomes for people using surgery and the emergency department were below expectations when compared to other services.  

Caring was Outstanding at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital Saint Mary’s Hospital, Wythenshawe Hospital and community child and adolescent mental health services. CQC saw many examples of staff providing outstanding care to patients and their relatives and carers. Feedback from patients and those close to them was consistently positive across many areas of the trust.

Staff in the critical care services at both Manchester Royal Infirmary and Wythenshawe Hospital were recognised by inspectors and patients as providing outstanding care. Staff promoted a caring and compassionate environment and built up supportive relationships with the people they cared for. Leaders at Manchester Royal Infirmary’s critical care service were enthusiastic about empowering staff to deliver sustainable high-quality care. There was a leadership driven commitment to improving patient care through learning from and developing best practice.