Croydon Health Services NHS Trust making “significant progress” according to Care Quality Commission
I am pleased to hear the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have found that Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, which runs Croydon University Hospital as well as community NHS services in the borough, is making “significant progress”. In the detailed manifesto I published in the run-up to the General Election I pledged to support those running the Trust in improving standards at Croydon University Hospital. It is great news to hear things are moving in the right direction.
The CQC inspects health and social care providers across the country to assess whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. There are four ratings: “Outstanding”, “Good”, “Requires Improvement” or “Inadequate”.
Overall, Croydon Health Services was rated as “Requires Improvement”. The CQC has instructed CUH to make improvements in four areas:
1. Refurbish nine main surgical theatres: The refurbishment work will begin next year (2016/17), with theatres being renovated two at a time so to not impact on waiting times.
2. Invest in new IT systems: The Trust successfully applied for £969,000 from NHS England’s Nurse Technology Fund (Feb 2015) to give community nurses, therapists and midwives better remote access to secure patient records. This will be invested in new portable equipment update patients’ online records in real-time.
3. Recruitment: Like many NHS trusts, Croydon has struggled to recruit more clinicians given the limited availability - especially in London. The Trust’s ‘Could you be a Croydon Nurse’ campaign has helped recruit 160 new nurses since March 2015. This initiative is now being expanded to recruit to vacancies in other areas, including in the Emergency Department and therapies.
4. Cancelled operations: Patients are now contacted by telephone and text so they do not miss planned operation appointments. The Trust is also using a new scheduling system so that more operations now start on time, and the hospital makes more efficient use of its theatres to reduce waiting lists.
However, the CQC highlighted 13 areas of “Outstanding” practice at the Trust, including the special care baby unit at Croydon University Hospital and the specialist palliative care team. The Trust was rated as “Good” for caring and effective services. The Emergency Department, maternity and gynaecology services, and services for children and young people at Croydon University Hospital and Purley War Memorial Hospital were also rated as “Good”. I welcome the progress that has been made as a result of increased investment in our local NHS as well as the hard work and dedication of our fantastic NHS staff. However, there is much more to be done and I look forward to seeing further moves towards ensuring Croydon Health Services are soon classed as “Outstanding”.