04:19PM, Tuesday 12 March 2019
The health foundation which runs hospitals including Wexham Park has been rated ‘good’ in its first full inspection by a watchdog.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) praised Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘strong, patient-centred culture’ and said leadership at Wexham Park was ‘outstanding’ following its December 2018 inspection.
It was the first large-scale inspection of the healthcare trust since Wexham Park and Heatherwood, in Ascot, were taken over by Frimley Park hospital in Surrey in 2014. The trust was created when the takeover went through.
Frimley Health chief executive Neil Dardis said: “I am consistently humbled by the dedication and care our staff provide for our patients.
“They have been on an incredible journey since the creation of Frimley Health in 2014 - driving improvements in quality and implementing a major capital development programme, whilst delivering some of the best performance standards in the country and transforming models of care by integrating services with our partners, and at a time when the NHS is facing many challenges.”
Wexham Park had been rated ‘inadequate’ overall by the CQC in 2014. Back then, in the commission’s five inspection areas which rate services based on safety, effectiveness, care, responsiveness and leadership, the hospital was rated either inadequate or requiring improvement.
Now, its leadership is rated ‘outstanding’ and the other four categories are all ‘good’.
Medical director Dr Tim Ho said: “As well as working much more closely with our health and social care partners to provide the right care in the right place for patients, our ambitious £200m capital programme has delivered an upgrade to our maternity facilities and a new emergency care centre at Wexham Park, and plans are well underway to build a new hospital at Heatherwood and a diagnostic and inpatient centre at Frimley Park.”
Dr Nigel Acheson, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals for the south, said: “Our inspectors found a strong patient-centred culture with staff committed to keeping their patients safe, and encouraging them to be independent.
“In return patients and relatives spoke highly of staff and how they were informed of treatment plans, and how these would affect them.
“It is no secret that over the last year Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust has faced particular challenges. There have been too many never events in that time and we know there have also been staff shortages in maternity wards.
“We are aware that the new chief executive and leadership team have picked up these issues, but at the time of the inspection these improvements although implemented were not yet fully embedded. We will return again to inspect further improvements in the near future.”
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