The Care Quality Commission made an inspection of four out of the five hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on 2-5th September 2014 (a few days before the closure of the A&E at Hammersmith Hospital, ed which was not inspected). The CQC report is published on 16th December.
The full inspection report for Imperial Trust is published on the CQC's website.
There are recommendations for improvement for each of the hospitals.
The findings are summarised in tabular form. There is one page for St Mary's and Charing Cross and another for Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte.
Merril Hammer, discount Chair of "Save Our Hospitals" responded:
SAVE OUR HOSPITALS: HAMMERSMITH AND CHARING CROSS
PRESS RELEASE: 15 December 2014
CARE QUALITY COMMISSION report on IMPERIAL HEALTH TRUST – Tuesday 16 December 2014
Overall, sales this is a disappointing report, but not entirely surprising.
The rating of the A&E at St Mary’s as inadequate bears out what we have been saying for some time: problems in the handover area for ambulances; problems with ambulance turnaround times; worrying issues about early discharge; lack of adequate links with primary care services which would keep people out of hospital.
Yet the A&E at Charing Cross, marked for closure, is rated as ‘good’.
Why are Imperial planning to move the stroke unit, ‘third best performing stroke unit in the country’ according to the CQC, from Charing Cross to St Mary’s?
Outpatient services across Imperial’s hospitals are rated as ‘inadequate’. There are concerns about inconsistent cleanliness, infection control and hygiene across the Trust. There are significant backlogs for elective surgery and major staff shortages in some wards with an over-reliance on agency and bank staff. Bed capacity for some areas is a cause for concern.
Save Our Hospitals is left wondering why Imperial Health Trust and the CCG should proceed with the largest reorganisation of the NHS before they have got outpatient treatment – increasingly long appointment and then clinic waiting times – sorted. We are told the aim is to treat more people in the community – but outpatient bookings, key to out of hospital services - at all 3 hospitals has not increased capacity to meet patient needs, nor have appropriate additional links with primary care been established – where these currently exist!
The management response to the report is worryingly complacent. The CQC has found some serious concerns which cannot be wished away. Imperial College Healthcare Trust needs to get the basics right before embarking on the major reorganisation that is planned across NW London. Already the closure of two small A&Es in the NW London area has caused Imperial to fall dramatically in the league tables for A&E waiting times. To proceed with the demolition of Charing Cross, the sale of 55% of the land and the building of a mini-hospital there with no acute beds and no real A&E, the demolition of 45% of St Mary’s with a major rebuild there and the closure of the Western Eye Hospital is a serious attack on local health provision.
SOH is calling for a moratorium on further reorganisation, for a rethink of the proposals and a new consultation based on clear clinical evidence that that reorganisation will work. From the CQC report it seems that current provision is inadequate and now is not the time to reduce the number of beds and close A&Es and move a world class stroke unit to another hospital.