Last Tuesday, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) - the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England - published the results of its 2012 adult in-patient survey for every NHS Trust in the country.
The CQC sent a questionnaire to 850 people who were treated as inpatients at Croydon University Hospital during the summer (if you can call it a summer) of 2012, 405 of whom responded. You can view the results on the CQC’s website, but in essence on seven of the ten measures our local hospital performs worse than most other hospitals and on the other three it is about average. This clearly isn't good enough.
Croydon Health Services Trust points out that since the survey was carried out they have made a number of significant changes, including recruiting 60 healthcare assistants, more than 40 registered nurses, more than 20 midwives and 10 health visitors; opening a new Acute Medical Unit, a Rapid Assessment, Triage & Treatment system and a Surgical Assessment Unit; and increasing the number of observation beds in Accident & Emergency. They are making further changes in the current financial year, including the recruitment of more nurses, midwives and health visitors and eleven additional consultants.
They also point out that the Trust performed much better in a number of other assessments. In the National Cancer Patient Survey 2012, the Trust achieved one of the highest overall ratings in London. 89 per cent of its patients rated their care as ‘good or excellent’. The Stroke Unit performed very well in the Stroke Unit Annual Assessment for 2012/13, receiving an 80.9% rating for providing occupational therapy assessment within seven days of admission. And the Children’s Hospital at Home service received a very positive result in the last survey of patients’ families.
As a local MP, this contrast doesn’t surprise me. There are parts of our local hospital that provide very good care. There are a lot of dedicated staff working there. Nevertheless, the results of the in-patient survey are clear evidence that care is not consistently good enough.
We have a new Chairman and permanent Chief Executive in place and I will be meeting with them regularly to assure myself that the improvements they are planning happen and that they ensure that services in all parts of the hospital are consistently up to the standard my constituents have a right to expect.