England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated services at Hillingdon hospital as Requires Improvement following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The report published today details a follow-up inspection conducted in May 2015, during which inspectors found that some progress had been made. The hospital has now been rated as 'requires improvement' for the delivery of safe, effective, responsive and well-led services. It has been rated ‘good’ for the provision of caring services.
Full reports including ratings for all of the provider’s core services are available at: www.cqc.org.uk/location/RAS01.
Overall, inspectors found that the hospital had made significant improvements in the assessment and monitoring of service quality, cleanliness and infection control. The hospital is now cleaning and auditing in line with national standards required across the NHS. Increased housekeeping staff have been allocated within the A&E department and senior staff felt this change had resulted in improved cleanliness.
The majority of staff have received mandatory training in safeguarding and infection control. Key staff have also been deployed to oversee service delivery and promote good practice.
Potential risks in the management of medicines are being identified through audit and appropriate preventative action being taken. However, inspectors found that best practice was not always followed by staff, with some daily medicine checks not taking place as necessary and some areas where medicines were stored being left unsecured.
Inspectors found that action had been taken to address the deficiencies in the hospital environment and estate that were highlighted during the previous inspection. Changes to operating theatres were a work in progress at the time of the most recent inspection. However, the works completed at the time of inspection, planned works and annual maintenance targets were in line with national standards to ensure patients would be protected from the risk of infection in future.
Inspectors visited nine medical wards during the recent follow-up inspection and found that the trust had responded appropriately to many of the key issues that had previously been identified. However, it was observed that in some areas practice had not changed, despite new systems and processes being implemented to deliver the required improvements.
The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:
"At the time of our previous inspection, we had told Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that it must take urgent action to meet some serious matters of concern. I am pleased to report that our latest inspection has found that the hospital is now making significant headway in many areas.
‘Although we have found improvements in services for children and young people, and the urgent and emergency care, surgery and medical care departments there is still a way to go which is why Hillingdon hospital is still rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ overall.
‘We still have concerns that some staff in A&E and medical wards are not following best practice in relation to hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment.
“Whilst I am satisfied that the hospital is heading in the right direction, I look forward to further improvements being implemented and fully embedded upon our next inspection.”