King’s hospital still ‘requires improvement’ watchdog finds

Chiara Giordano (02 February, 2018) Health

The hospital trust was rated 'requires improvement' overall - but also had 'good' and 'outstanding' areas

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King’s College Hospital continues to ‘require improvement’, the health watchdog has found.

The Care Quality Commission found the NHS trust required improvement for being safe, responsive, and well-led, following an inspection in September and October.

However, it was rated ‘good’ for being effective and caring, and some areas were found to be ‘outstanding’, including the iMobile outreach service, tea club for patients living with dementia, and the trust’s major incident plan, which was said to be “robust and well-tested”.

The trust was rated as ‘requires improvement’ at a previous inspection in 2015, however inspectors found improvements had been made in a number of areas.

It was also praised for the way its staff cared for those caught up in last year’s terrorist attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.

Professor Ted Baker, England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “King’s College Hospital NHS Trust was highly praised for the way its staff cared for people caught up in the terrorist attacks that took place in London last year. Staff there also cared for some of those injured at the Grenfell Tower fire.

“The demands on the trust are high and by and large it copes satisfactorily and is moving in the right direction – though it needs to do more. It is disappointing that the trust is still requires improvement overall.

“While the trust has made some improvements, it needs to increase the pace of improvement and should use our report to drive the further improvement needed.”

In a statement, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are committed to providing high quality and effective patient care and note that the CQC reported clear improvements in specific areas.

“Critical care and medicine has improved at both sites and we are also pleased that our reputation for innovation was also recognised.

“Our iMobile service, care for patients with dementia, transparency in reporting adverse events and response to major incidents were all identified as outstanding.

“While the report has noted these and other improvements across the trust, we acknowledge that there are still some areas where we can further improve our services for patients.”

In December, the trust’s chair Lord Bob Kerslake resigned days before it was placed into special measures for finance by NHS Improvement.

The regulator said the financial situation of the trust had “deteriorated very seriously over recent months” – although Lord Kerslake blamed its struggles on an historic lack of funding.

Both the outgoing chair and Southwark MPS Harriet Harman and Helen Hayes said the trust’s issues were caused, in part, by a merger which saw it take on the struggling Princess Royal University (PRU) and Orpington hospitals.

Announcing his resignation, Lord Kerslake, who was chair for just two years, called for a “fundamental rethink” to the way the NHS is funded and organised.

To read the inspection report in full, visit: www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RJZ/reports

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