The report following an inspection from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has been published.
The trust has been given an overall rating as a trust as requiring improvement. However, in total out of the 85 individual ratings 65 were rated as good.
A number of areas were identified as good practice, including surgery, critical care, end of life care, the trust’s simulation suite, community services and the trust’s services at One Life Hartlepool.
Chief executive Alan Foster said: “Naturally we are disappointed with the rating. Our staff work hard to provide the best care possible and it is disappointing for them to receive this rating.
“Ratings systems for NHS organisations have changed many times over the years and, quite rightly, it is tougher to meet the standards so it’s impossible and possibly misleading to compare ratings given now to those given 20 years ago.
“The CQC inspection is split into five domains, asking are services safe, caring, responsive, effective and well-led and rates each of them from inadequate, requiring improvement, good and outstanding.
“The inspectors rated the University Hospital of Hartlepool good for safe, caring and responsive and requiring improvement for effectiveness and well-led care. The way the rating system works is that two or more requiring improvements out of five results in a rating of requiring improvement. However it’s good for staff, patients and the public to know that three out of the five areas were rated as good. We were very open with the inspectors about areas which we thought could be improved and we have already taken action to address these areas.
“The inspectors rated the University Hospital of North Tees good for caring and responsive services but as requiring improvement for safe, effective and well-led services. Again we were very open with the inspectors before, during and after the visit about areas we thought could be improved and we have already taken action to address these areas.
“The inspectors highlighted many areas of good practice and we’re delighted they reflected this in their report.
“We would like to pay tribute to staff for their response to the inspection. While it was a daunting experience for some, they were well prepared and enthusiastic about showing the inspectors the fantastic work they do. We always said that, whatever the outcome, the visit itself was a positive experience.
“We are working hard with the aim that, should the services be visited again, the trust’s overall rating will improve.”