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Inspection Summary


Overall summary & rating

Good

Updated 18 November 2015

The Royal Victoria Hospital is a community hospital that provides a range of local services.  East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust provides outpatient and diagnostic services from this Hospital. As part of the trust inspection we visited the Royal Victoria Hospital site to inspect outpatient and diagnostic services.

Our key findings were as follows:

  • The trust approach to planning and improving outpatients services had significantly improved the quality of service to patients and that the Royal Victoria Hospital was part of that success.
  • As with other parts of the trust, the inability to meet referral to treatment times were hindering the responsiveness of services.
  • Outpatients at Folkestone Hospital were providing safe care to patients. There were systems in place, supported by adequate resources to enable the department to provide good quality care to patients attending for appointments.
  • An appropriate framework to maintain a competent workforce was in place and teams had a multidisciplinary basis.

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.

Importantly, the trust must:

  • The Trust must ensure that all taps in clinical rooms are working effectively.
  • The Trust should ensure that clinical areas are not carpeted. Where clinical areas are carpeted they must be managed with effective risk assessment and cleaning regimes.

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.

Professor Sir Mike Richards

Chief Inspector of Hospitals

Inspection areas

Safe

Good

Updated 18 November 2015

Effective

Updated 18 November 2015

Caring

Good

Updated 18 November 2015

Responsive

Requires improvement

Updated 18 November 2015

Well-led

Good

Updated 18 November 2015

Checks on specific services

Outpatients and diagnostic imaging

Good

Updated 18 November 2015

The Outpatient department was well led and had improved since implementing an outpatient improvement strategy. Despite the strategy being relatively new, through structured audit and review the department was able to evidence improvements in health records management, call centre management, referral to rreatment (RTT) processes, increased opening hours, clinic capacity and improved patient experience.

Although there was still improvement required in referral to treatment pathways the outpatients department and Trust demonstrated a commitment to continuing to improve the service long term.

As a part of the strategy the Trust had pulled its outpatient services from fifteen locations to six. We inspected five of these locations during our visit.

Managers and staff working in the department understood the strategy and there was a real sense that staff were proud of the improvements that had been made. Progress with the strategy was monitored during weekly strategy meetings with the senior team and fed down to department staff through staff meetings and bulletins.

Outpatients at Folkestone Hospital were providing safe care to patients. There were systems in place, supported by adequate resources to enable the department to provide good quality care to patients attending for appointments.

Evidence based assessment, care and treatment was delivered in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines by appropriately trained and qualified staff.

A multi-disciplinary team approach was evident across all the services provided from the outpatients and diagnostic imaging department. We observed a shared responsibility for care and treatment delivery. Staff were trained and assessed as competent before using new equipment or performing aspects of their roles.

We saw caring and compassionate care delivered by all staff working at outpatients and diagnostic imaging department. We observed throughout the outpatients department that staff treated patients, relatives and visitors in a respectful manner.

Nurse management and nursing care was particularly good. Nurses were well informed, competent and went the extra mile to improve patient’s journey through their department. Nurses and receptionists followed a ‘Meet and Greet’ protocol to ensure that patients received a consistently high level of communication and service from staff in the department.

We found that the diagnostic imaging department at the Royal Victoria Hospital were providing a safe and caring service. The environment and equipment were maintained in line with regulations. There was evidence of multidisciplinary team working.