report card

This is my weekly column from Worcester News on our Recent CQC report.

At Secondary School I was a swot – no apologies , that’s just who I am (a bit like Hermione Granger out of the Harry Potter films!). So I always looked forward to my end of year report- which would be a sea of green ‘A’s. Now let me explain: we were rated on attainment of A-E with A as EXCELLENT and E as POOR. But the grades were also coloured with green, blue and red: GREEN = maximum effort; RED= no effort at all. So one could get a green D- which meant you weren’t very good but you tried hard.
So in the Summer of 1974 I opened the envelope and saw GREEN ‘A’s’ with one exception. A RED ‘A’ for Biology. It was unbelievable. I had never had a red grade. And it didn’t make sense. What did it mean? That I didn’t try hard in biology but was brilliant at it anyway. Who knows?
And I tell you this little story because the Acute Hospitals in Worcestershire received a overall rating of inadequate by the Care Quality Commission. Fair enough if there are improvements we need to make to give even better care. But the thing that made no sense to me was the rating for Maternity Services. In Safety they got a RED INADEQUATE whilst in CARE they got not just a GREEN good but an “OUTSTANDING” – the only department in the hospital to get an outstanding anywhere.
This makes as much sense as my RED ‘A’ in Biology. Surely if the safety is compromised then the care is unsafe and vice versa. I know the Trust can’t criticise the CQC. But I can in my personal capacity as a Worcester News columnist. Something is wrong!
So if you are worried about maternity or any other service at our Hospitals, then read the whole report on the CQC website. I can guarantee you, like others, will think the classification of inadequate is harsh. So we’ll just keep doing our best, as I did in Biology – when in 1975 I was back to getting a green A.


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