NHS watchdog wants feedback on hospitals’ services
England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals is inviting members of the public to tell his inspection panel what they think of the health services provided by St George’s Hospital and by the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.
The views and experiences of the public will help inspectors decide what to look at when they inspect the two NHS trusts in February and March.
St George’s will be one of the first acute hospital trusts to be inspected and given an overall rating under recent changes introduced by the Care Quality Commission. The formal inspection will start on Tuesday, February 11.
The CQC will also be inspecting South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, which is mainly based at Springfield Hospital in Tooting, and which will be one of the first five mental health trusts to be inspected under the changes in March. Its formal inspection will start on Monday, March 17.
The Chief Inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, announced last year that he will lead significantly larger inspection teams than before, headed up by clinical and other experts including trained members of the public who have experience using health care services.
To ensure the views of patients and the local community are properly heard, the inspectors will be holding a listening event at 6.30pm on Monday, February 10 at Earlsfield Library in Magdalen Road.
People are being encouraged to attend the listening event to find out more about the inspection process, to tell the team about their experiences of care and to say where they would like to see improvements made in the future.
Sir Mike said: "The new inspections are designed to provide people with a clear picture of the quality of local NHS services in their local hospital and beyond, exposing poor or mediocre care as well as highlighting the many hospitals and services providing good and excellent care.
"We know there is too much variation in quality – these new in-depth inspections will allow us to get a much more detailed picture of care than ever before. Of course we will be talking to doctors and nurses, managers and patients. But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have had care, or anyone who wants to share information with us. This will help us plan our inspection, and so help us focus on the things that really matter to people who depend on this service.
“This is your opportunity to tell me and my team what you think, and make a difference to NHS services in the local area.”
The inspection team is expected to look in detail at eight key service areas within St George’s Hospital: These are A&E; medical care (including frail elderly); surgery; intensive/critical care; maternity; paediatrics/children’s care; end of life care; and outpatients. The team will also look at community NHS services in Wandsworth.
Depending on the outcome of the inspection St George’s will be one of the first acute trusts to be given one of the following ratings: Outstanding, Good, Requiring improvement, or Inadequate.
Sir Mike announced last year that the CQC would be putting a greater emphasis on inspecting the care that people with mental health problems receive in the community, at the same time as inspecting services for people who are admitted to hospital for assessment or treatment.
At South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, the inspection team will look in detail at a full range of services including acute admission wards for all age groups, psychiatric intensive care units and health-based places of safety, long stay forensic secure services, child and adolescent mental health services, services for older people including inpatient services and some community services, hospital and community services for people with learning disabilities or autism, adult community-based services including crisis services, and specialist eating disorder services.
Full reports of the inspectors’ findings about both trusts will be published by the CQC later in the year.
The CQC is asking people who would like to attend the listening event at Earlsfield Library to contact it beforehand either by telephone, email or online.
This will help them plan for the event, but people are free to turn up on the evening even if they haven’t registered.
Anyone who is unable to attend the listening event but wishes to give their views to the inspection team can do this by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This listening events is not open to the media. It is designed to enable members of the public to share their experiences of care with members of the inspection team. These discussions will take place in small groups, and we want people to be able to talk safe in the knowledge that the confidences they are sharing will be respected.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England, and its remit is to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and to encourage care services to improve. It monitors, inspects and regulates services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publishes what it finds to help people choose care.
January 23, 2014