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CQC inspectors find “remarkable” improvement in patient care at Wexham Park Hospital

2 February 2016
  • Media

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the services provided by Wexham Park Hospital, Slough as Good following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The finding marks a very significant improvement since the hospital was last inspected by CQC, when it was rated Inadequate. Subsequently the hospital was acquired by Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.

In the latest inspection, the hospital’s emergency service and critical care service have both been rated Outstanding, with the six other core services rated as Good. A full report including ratings for all core services has been published on this website.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: I am delighted to report that since the acquisition by Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in 2014, we have seen a transformation in the quality of care experienced by patients at Wexham Park Hospital.

"Two years ago we found a hospital with unsafe staffing levels, patients waiting too long for attention and treatment, too many cancelled operations and a workforce which was all too busy firefighting, without a clear vision about the organisation's direction.

"The new leadership have brought with them a set of values which has put excellent patient care and experience at the heart of the hospital. At this inspection we found a positive and ambitious workforce who are now prepared to recommend their trust as a place to work and to have treatment.

"This is an encouraging outcome for the patients and I congratulate the staff on their remarkable achievement. It is thanks to their effort and dedication that Wexham Park Hospital has turned round.

“The task now is to build on these foundations. We have identified certain areas which need attention - and I am confident that Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust will use the outcome of this inspection to ensure that standards at Wexham Park Hospital continue to rise."

The team of 52 inspectors, which included a variety of specialists and experts by experience, visited the hospital over a period of three days during October. They also made three unannounced visits as part of the inspection.

Throughout the inspection, CQC found that patient care was carried out in line with national guidelines and best practice. Inspectors found there were effective systems in place to protect patients from harm, and staff contributed positively to an incident-reporting culture that provided opportunities for continual learning. Staff were able to talk in detail about improvements in practice that had occurred as a result.

Medicines management had improved since the last inspection. Staff attendance at mandatory training had improved, with all staff expected to attend on an annual basis.   Staff said that the quality and relevance of training was better.

The trust had prioritised the management of deteriorating patients. A lead nurse for the management of deteriorating patients had been appointed and work was in hand to drive improvement across the trust.

Although nurse staffing had improved there was still a number of staff vacancies. The trust recognised that providing safe staffing was a risk for the hospital and there were appropriate plans in place to monitor and address this on a daily basis.

Since the last inspection the executive team had taken action to ensure they were visible on the wards and in the departments and ensured they engaged with frontline staff, listening to feedback and acting promptly on any concerns that were raised.

Inspectors identified a range of areas of outstanding practice, including:

  • In critical care staff showed considerable innovation in meeting the individual needs of patients under exceptional circumstances.
  • A senior nurse in critical care had been seconded into a research post for the year before returning to full time clinical duties. One of the key research projects, looking at the avoidance of acute kidney injury through the use of steroids, had resulted in specialised one-to-one training packages for staff and an invitation for staff to present their findings at the European Intensive Care Society Conference in 2015.
  • Staff engagement throughout outpatients and diagnostic imaging departments was outstanding. All clinicians, administrative and support staff at all levels were working towards common values.
  • Staff in the radiology department showed an outstanding commitment to improve patient experience by reducing and maintaining their waiting times, despite reduced staffing levels and equipment issues.

The Care Quality Commission will present 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.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Manager John Scott on 07789 875809. Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. (Please note: the duty press officer is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters). For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was placed into special measures following an inspection in February 2014 which found that the quality of care at Wexham Park Hospital at Slough was Inadequate. The press release and report published in May 2014 is available at:

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.