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Inspection carried out on 13th-17th July 2015

During a routine inspection

The Buckland Hospital, Dover is a community hospital that has recently re-opened following redevelopment supported by a £23million investment by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust with the objective of bringing services closer to the local population of the Kent coast.

Services on site include outpatients, renal satellite services, day hospital services and child health plus a minor injures unit.

Our key findings were as follows:

  • With the exception of the reception desk within the MIU the facilities and practice afforded a safe environment for patients.
  • The trust has benefited from a highly successful outpatients transformation plan that has led to improved services to patients. The Buckland Hospital is a significant part of that transformation plan.
  • Children's services were well designed and met the needs of that patient group and attracted positive feedback from patients.
  • Governance arrangements were satisfactory and there was a link with the trust structure.

We saw several areas of outstanding practice including:

  • The Nurse leadership in outpatients was outstanding with staff inspired to provide a good service to patients. The main outpatient’s matron provided knowledgeable and inspirational support to staff whilst working hard to maintain and improve the service.

However, there were also areas of poor practice where the trust needs to make improvements.

In addition the trust should:

  • The Trust should continue to improve Referral to Treatment times across all specialities to ensure that patients are treated in an acceptable timeframe following referral to the service.
  • Attend to the lack of privacy and dignity that the MIU reception affords patients and mitigate the risk that reception staff do not identify at risk patients.

Professor Sir Mike Richards

Chief Inspector of Hospitals