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Kent Community Health NHS Trust rated Good by Chief Inspector of Hospitals

2 September 2014
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the services run by Kent Community Health NHS Trust as Good overall following inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The trust serves a population of two million people in Kent, London and East Sussex, providing a wide range of services to people in their own homes or community settings. Inspectors found that services were safe, caring, responsive and well led but that the trust required improvement to be effective.

Overall the report concludes that people received kind and compassionate care from committed staff. The trust was forward looking in seeking to meet the needs of the people of Kent, and to improve the health of patients and their experience of healthcare.

But inspectors found that policies that should ensure that all staff delivered a safe, caring, effective and responsive service were not always applied consistently. There were inconsistencies in the provision of some services to children and young people as a result of commissioning issues. While end of life service was developing and improving, readmissions to acute hospitals from community hospitals meant people were not receiving care as close to home as possible.

An inspection team which included CQC inspectors and analysts, doctors, nurses, social workers, patient experts by experience, other specialists and senior managers, spent five days during June visiting a number of locations including health centres, clinics and community services within the trust, as well as Livingstone Hospital, Queen Victoria Hospital Herne Bay, Whitstable and Tankerton Hospital, Sheppey Hospital and Gravesham Hospital.

The inspectors found areas of good practice which included:

  • Services that were effective, evidence based and focussed on the needs of children and young people.
  • A positive approach to safety management. All staff knew their responsibilities with regard to safety.
  • At Livingstone and Gravesham Hospital there was an effective falls reduction programme which has resulted in the number of falls with associated fracture reducing by one third in a year.
  • The Dover team had an interpreter permanently on the staff as they provided healthcare to a large Eastern European community. Patient information leaflets were available in a variety of languages, including Czech, Slovakian and Turkish.
  • The involvement of the equality and diversity team in the development of all aspects of end of life care policy and the commitment of staff to providing an equitable service to all was commendable.

Inspectors said that the trust must improve in one main area:

  • The trust must ensure that all staff are familiar with the policy on the use of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation orders and that the use of these documents must be monitored to ensure staff are adhering to the policy in clinical practice.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

“Kent Community Health NHS Trust provides a wide range of essential health services to a large population in Kent, supporting people to recover from illness and to live well and independently, often without the disruption of being admitted to hospital.
We found a passionate and caring workforce. The trust is working hard to meet the complex needs of the people of Kent – although the quality of the service was variable in places. For instance we found that some services were unable to ensure that children and young people could access the right care at the right time.
“I know that the trust had been through a sustained period of change and reorganisation and the Trust needs to do more to address the impact this has had on staff and services in some parts of the organisation. There are areas for improvement  and inconsistencies which must be addressed and focus more on the quality of its services across the whole of its area.”


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Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors



Kent Children, Young people and families 20140805.pdf


Kent community health inpatient services 20140805.pdf


Kent end of life care 20140805.pdf


Kent Provider 20140805.pdf


Kent services for adults 20140805.pdf


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.