Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske has been told it requires improvement.

The inspection by the Care Quality Commision looked at the quality and safety of the care provided, looking at whether the service is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and is well-led.

The CQC report said that services at the hospital were safe however some patient notes were not accurate or complete, which could mean that their care was not well-enough understood to be as effective as it should be.

Staffing levels had increased and while recruitment continued, bank and agency staff were employed to deal with shortages. Despite this, the staff working in A&E, medical and surgical wards at the hospital felt under pressure at times. This had been recognised and the trust was continuing to actively recruit staff.

Maternity and children’s services were safe, and staff followed best practice guidance. There were dedicated facilities for children, although no waiting area for only children and families in X-ray, and no arrangements to manage this.

Outpatient services were performing well, although not all environments were designed or arranged in the best interests of the patients. This was because some were old and not designed for their current purpose. Patients were protected from abuse.

Learning from incidents was variable across the hospital. Systems designed to avoid harm to patients in surgery had improved, but required continued focus. There were some arrangements for the safety and security in one theatre area which needed addressing.

Too many operations were being cancelled or delayed due to a shortage of ward beds.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust's (RCHT) and hospitals in Hayle and Penzance were given a rating of good.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals says Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) is on “a journey of improvement” and it is encouraging that staff “held such a positive view of recent improvements”.

The CQC said there was a “strong team spirit within the Trust”, that staff “were proud to work for the Trust” and staff were “experienced, caring, compassionate and champions for their patients.” 

Lezli Boswell, Chief Executive at RCHT said: "This is a welcome report from the Care Quality Commission and confirms our recent improvement.

"We are pleased that the care and compassion of our staff has been recognised, including the excellent comments on care for patients with learning disabilities and those at the end of their life. There is a strong sense in the report of an improving organisation, good leadership and a dedicated and caring workforce.

"We recognise of course that there is more to do particularly on the digitisation of patient records, continuing investment in modern technology and equipment and most of all on patient flow so that care is provided in the right setting. It comes as no surprise that the report highlights the intense pressure on our services and the need to transform the health and social care system.

"The CQC report now gives us an independent and detailed view of the areas we need to improve and we will work together with our partners to ensure we can provide the very best care and health outcomes for the local community."

The CQC inspection is part of a new national inspection regime set up in the wake of the Stafford Hospital scandal.