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Salford Royal (Hope Hospital for the oldies) is the only NHS acute and community Trust to be rated as Outstanding on two consecutive occasions.

This achievement is combined with the significant improvements that are well underway at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust following support from Salford Royal over the last 18 months under the leadership of Sir David Dalton as part of new Northern Care Alliance NHS Group.

Outstanding practice highlighted includes the successful integration of health and social care.


Salford Royal says it will continue to use their experience, knowledge and areas of outstanding practice to share with hospitals/services in its group to further drive improvements to benefit staff and patients; to deliver this at scale and help save and improve lives.

Sir David Dalton, Group Chief Executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, has praised and thanked staff at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust for what he calls a ‘tremendous achievement’ following the news that the Trust  has once again been rated Outstanding by the (CQC).

He hopes Salford and Pennine’s Group approach shows that there are real opportunities for other organisations within the NHS; patients can benefit when organisations decide to work together to deliver standardisation at scale.

Salford Royal is the only acute and community Trust in the country to consecutively repeat its Outstanding rating and the first integrated Trust to achieve an Outstanding rating for the ‘Use of Resources’ part of its inspection, as well as being declared Outstanding for being ‘Well-Led’.

CQC Inspectors visited the Trust in April and May this year and within their formal report highlighted many areas of exemplar practice, including:



“The Trust was a national exemplar for integrated care. It directly employed social care and primary care staff. This was having positive benefits for patients, through their continuity of care; reducing delayed transfers of care and supporting the wider health and social care system, such as delivering training programmes to nursing homes”.

“Services had comprehensive systems co-designed by staff embedded into practice to keep people safe. The Nursing Assessment and Accreditation System and Community Assessment and Accreditation System provided a high level of transparency to the Group, Care Organisation and to patients in relation to clinical performance indicators and measures. This information was publicised throughout the wards and clinical areas for people to consider and scrutinise.”

“The Trust was part of the Global Digital Exemplar programme which provided technology solutions to embed safe care. The electronic patient record was assessed against an international set of quality indicators and Salford Royal was in the top 5% internationally.”


Excellent care and services for patients with dementia, for example, reminiscence pods and a dementia courtyard; and Innovative medicines and pharmacy projects.

Salford Royal, along with The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, forms the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which brings together over 17,000 staff across five hospitals and associated community and social care services into a healthcare group. The Group is one of the largest NHS organisations in the country and is focused on ensuring that the one million patients who live across Salford, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester benefit from the delivery of reliable, high quality care. 

The collaboration started in April 2016 when Salford Royal agreed to provide leadership and operational support to Pennine Acute, following a CQC inspection which resulted in inspectors deeming the Trust as Inadequate.

This arrangement paved the way for the creation of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. This Group concept has seen the two Trusts working together to identify best practice and reliably implement this to create improvements for all patients. This includes Salford Royal’s successful Nursing Assessment and Accreditation System being rolled out across all wards at Pennine’s four hospitals meaning these wards now have clear plans to achieve 13 core standards; and also adopting common approaches across the Group in terms of infection prevention and control processes, falls prevention and elimination of pressure ulcers. New standardised approaches to digital developments are also being implemented.

When CQC inspectors returned to Pennine in October 2017, they found a significant number of improvements were well underway across all of its hospitals and in March 2018, they raised the Trust’s CQC rating to Requires Improvement. There are no longer any services across Pennine’s hospitals that are rated Inadequate, with 70% of the aspects of the services inspected now rated as either Good or Outstanding.

Sir David said that Salford Royal’s re-affirmation as an Outstanding Trust was a major milestone in the journey of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group.He added:



“This is an amazing achievement for Salford Royal’s staff and we will celebrate their success across our Group of hospitals and services.

 “I must pay tribute to all colleagues across the Northern Care Alliance who have risen to the challenge of coming together to create a Group that has the mission of improving and saving lives on a far greater scale than what the Trusts could achieve working on their own.

“They have worked tirelessly to create better care for their patients with the results that a significant number of improvements have taken place at the Pennine sites whilst Salford Royal has continued to retain its own high standards.

“This provides us with the platform to continue working together as one Group to share and spread best practice. As ever, we will do this with an unwavering focus on patient safety, patient experience and quality improvement and by ensuring staff are fully involved in finding improvements.

“I hope our Group approach shows that there are real opportunities for other organisations within the NHS; patients can benefit when organisations decide to work together to deliver standardisation at scale.”


Jim Potter, Chairman of the Northern Care Alliance, said:


“This is a moment to say huge congratulations to colleagues working for Salford Royal. They have not only helped the Trust to retain its own high of standards but they have achieved this whilst being part of a far bigger mission. The Northern Care Alliance has an incredibly bright future ahead.”

James Sumner, Chief Officer of Salford Care Organisation, which Salford Royal is part of, said:



“I am incredibly proud of all my colleagues working across Salford Royal’s hospital, community and social care services. CQC inspectors visited our organisation earlier this year and were able to see what I am fortunate enough to experience every day – and that’s our caring and compassionate staff working incredibly hard to ensure patients and service-users receive the best care possible. I am delighted for them that this, once again, has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission.

“NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group was also confirmed earlier in the summer by NHS England as an Outstanding organisation following its annual assessment. This means that the people of Salford continue to benefit from both an outstanding CCG and outstanding Trust.”




Salford Royal’s CQC report can be found on the CQC’s website at www.cqc.org.uk



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