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Chief Inspector of Hospitals rates Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as Good

26 April 2016
Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
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England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the services run by Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as Good overall following a Care Quality Commission inspection.

The trust provides specialist burns and plastic surgery service for people from across the country from its hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex. It also cares for both armed personnel who return from conflict and children and young people who have life disfiguring injuries.

The full reports on the trust and on each site are available.

CQC rated the trust as Good for safety, effectiveness, responsiveness to the needs of people and leadership, although it was rated as Outstanding for being caring. Within the hospital itself, inspectors rated outpatient services and children and young people’s services, minor injuries and specialist burns and plastic surgery as Good. Critical care was rated as Requires Improvement.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

“When we inspected the Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, we saw some excellent practice. We saw that staff were incredibly caring and compassionate in their dealings with patients, and patients praised the care that they received with areas of the care found to be outstanding.

“There were some areas where improvements were required. The highest priority for the trust is to address the lack of residential medical cover for out of hours services.

Inspectors found the hospital to be clean, and the environment overall was found to be conducive to safe care although some areas required some redecoration and refurbishment.

Patients and their families were treated with dignity and respect and their needs were met by caring and compassionate staff. This was well reflected in the Family and Friends feedback and patient survey results where the hospital regularly achieved scores over 95%.

Inspectors found staff were taking steps to improve the experience for patients living with dementia. This included allowing extra time during assessment, helping families in supporting patient awareness, while taking the needs of vulnerable patients taken into consideration to personalise their care and treatment.

Nursing staff levels were appropriate although there was a lack of medical cover out of hours which could lead to patients having to wait for urgent care if a doctor was attending to someone else.

Inspectors also identified a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • Staff within the paediatric service had been instrumental in developing unique aftercare opportunities for patients. One such initiative was called the CREW camp - challenging, recreational, educational weekends for burns patients funded by local businesses to provide educational activity weekends for up to 30 ex-patients. A committee of eight staff selects children who would get the most benefit from the activities.
  • The cutting edge prosthetics department provides a patient focussed, individualised service. Staff were committed to continual professional development, publishing regularly in professional journals. Patients received the most up to date advancements in prosthetic development.
  • The patient pathway for head and neck patients was comprehensive. People attended a pre-assessment appointment, were allocated a named nurse and visited other departments in the hospital that would be part of their treatment. There was a separate waiting area in outpatients so that patients had privacy while waiting to be and seen and a psychology service was available to support the emotional needs of patients coming to terms with life changing body image issues.
  • The burns outreach nurse post provides an innovative solution to deal with patients recover from burns in the community. Patients were able to be discharged quicker with continuity of care and treatment.

CQC identified two main areas where the trust must make improvements, including making sure that:

  • The trust must ensure that all medication in theatre is stored appropriately.
  • The trust must ensure that medical cover out of hours is sufficient to meet the needs of patients.

An inspection team which included doctors, nurses, hospital managers, trained members of the public, CQC inspectors and analysts made an announced visit in November 2015.


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, is leading inspection teams, headed up by clinical and other experts including experts by experience. Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led?

The Care Quality Commission has already presented its findings to a local Quality Summit, including NHS commissioners, providers, regulators and other public bodies. The purpose of the Quality Summit is to develop a plan of action and recommendations based on the inspection team’s findings.

Since 1 April 2015, providers have been required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. Further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.