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How we measure up - our hospital ratings

The Trust is governed by a regulatory framework set by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which has a statutory duty to assess the performance of healthcare organisations. The CQC requires that hospital trusts are registered with the CQC and therefore licensed to provide health services.

The Trust continues to be registered without conditions by the Care Quality Commission to provide health services.

The CQC provides assurance to the public and commissioners about the quality of care through a system of monitoring a trust's performance across a broad range of areas to ensure it meets essential standards. The CQC assessors and inspectors frequently review all available information and intelligence they hold about a hospital, and depending on what this tells them, they may choose to inspect a hospital to ensure standards are being maintained.

You can find out more about the CQC here:

Care Quality Commission rates the Trust as 'Requires improvement'

CQC inspectors visited OUH in November and December 2018 and January 2019 to assess the quality of five core services - urgent and emergency care, medical care, surgery, maternity, and gynaecology.

The CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to assess whether the Trust was well led and NHS Improvement assessed whether the Trust was using its resources productively.

In a series of reports published on Friday 7 June 2019 the CQC rated OUH 'Good' for having Caring, Responsive and Effective services, but 'Requires improvement' for having 'Well led' and 'Safe'services.

Therefore this means that OUH has been rated as 'Requires Improvement' overall.

Individual hospital ratings

Area Rating
Trust overall Requires improvement
John Radcliffe Hospital Requires improvement
Horton General Hospital Good
Churchill Hospital Good
Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre Good

Areas for improvement

Following the inspections, the CQC used its urgent enforcement powers to impose three conditions on the Trust's registration which relate to operating theatres at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

The Trust was aware that the theatres at the John Radcliffe required some refurbishment works, and had already been planning a schedule of works to start in April 2019 at the time of the CQC inspection in November 2018.

Following the improvement notice issued by the CQC, we took immediate action including further minimising infection risks, carrying out remedial work to floors and cupboards, improving storage facilities, and adding privacy screens to all anaesthetic and theatre doors.

The CQC lifted the conditions placed on the operating theatres in the main John Radcliffe Hospital building following the completion of refresh works. The theatres were officially re-opened in September 2019 at the end of the refresh which started in April, and a team from the CQC visited in November.

Improvements made included new electrical and data wiring and increased sockets, brighter lighting, redecoration with vibrant new colours in the corridors and more neutral tones in the theatres, new cabinetry and other fittings, new flooring, and a new centralised stores for equipment and medicines. Add link to the full story at

The CQC highlighted a number of other areas for improvement which the Trust has addressed since the inspections took place.

  • Building work on a major expansion of the Emergency Department at the John Radcliffe Hospital started in April 2019 in order to meet increasing demand for services - new facilities will include an extra nine bays for the immediate care of seriously ill patients.
  • Significant progress has been made in reducing waiting times in the Emergency Department at the John Radcliffe - performance improved by 4.2 percent year on year in 2018/19.
  • In May 2019 the Trust launched a major Culture and Leadership Review to ensure that all staff - including those with protected characteristics under the Equality Act - experience a compassionate and supportive culture.
  • Following an independent review of leadership and governance which the Trust Board asked Deloitte to carry out last year, a report by Deloitte was published in January 2019 with recommendations to strengthen the Trust's leadership - the Trust is now implementing changes at Executive level to strengthen areas where more expertise was required and investing in divisional management teams to strengthen clinical and managerial leadership.
  • The design of a formal Trust Board development plan is also being progressed.

CQC patient leaflets