The Care Quality Commission have published a report into their review of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust saying that there are significant improvements, but that further work is needed.

Publishing a review of care at the Trust, which evaluates progress in implementing recommendations from the March 2009 Investigation Report, the CQC said that standards had improved significantly. It said the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust is listening and responding to concerns raised by patients, mortality rates are declining, there are more nurses and patients are generally positive about their care.

However, a number of important improvements remain outstanding. Nurses reported difficulty in accessing equipment to prevent pressure sores, some patients are waiting too long in A&E and there are a lot of nurses absent due to sickness in some areas of the Trust.

CQC has been monitoring progress at the trust very closely. It published reviews of progress in July and December. In April, when it introduced a tough new system of registration, Mid Staffordshire was one of 22 trusts found not to be meeting essential standards of quality and safety. It was registered on the condition that it made improvements within strict deadlines.

As part of this recent review, CQC conducted announced and unannounced inspections during March and April, including an unannounced visit at A&E during the night. CQC interviewed more than 50 patients, spoke with staff, observed clinical care, reviewed documentation and talked with local patient groups and other NHS bodies.

Based on its findings, CQC will lift five conditions relating to staffing levels, how the trust monitors and assesses the quality of care being provided on the wards, training staff to use equipment, managing patients in A&E and ensuring all medical equipment is in working order and properly maintained.

The sixth condition relates to supporting workers through effective supervision and appraisal and has a deadline of 30 June. CQC did not assess compliance with this condition as part of this review, but will do so in August. At the same time, it will review whether improvements have been sustained and check progress in other planned improvements.

Further information can be found at the website detailed below:-