Congratulations to Kingston Hospital

Good news at Kingston Hospital Kingston Hospital is improving and has been rated “Outstanding” overall by the Care Quality Commission for the quality of its care.

Your local MP, Ed Davey, on the fantastic news:

"In celebrating this success, I want to thank the hospital staff and our wider health service. The news is so full of problems — and politicians focus on them. So it’s easy to overlook what’s going right.

“Outstanding” for care

What struck me most about the report, was what it said about the staff at Kingston Hospital.

The inspectors concluded the care the nurses, doctors and other staff are providing is “outstanding”. They say:

“All staff were extremely caring and compassionate. People were treated with the utmost kindness, dignity and respect. Care and treatment was delivered as part of a person-centred culture.”

Having seen myself the Hospital’s superb work in areas like dementia care, I’m not surprised — and it is a testament to the staff’s dedication — and the volunteers.

It’s worth seeing this success in context: the Care Quality Commission (CQC) isn’t always so glowing.

Two years ago, it rated Kingston as “requires improvement” with “care” as “good”.

This time, Kingston Hospital was rated overall “outstanding”, particularly for its leadership. Indeed, Kingston is the first acute hospital trust in London to receive an “outstanding” rating for being “well-led”.

This recognition comes on the back of Kingston this May being rated in the top 40 NHS hospitals in the country for the 18th consecutive year.

But no complacency — especially on money

Despite the overall “outstanding” rating, many areas were rated only as “good”. A “good” inspection will identify areas for improvement — and the report does highlight these.

Not surprisingly, they relate to areas like pressures on A&E and money — although performance on waiting time targets at Kingston is still better than the England average.

CQC says, for example, that the Emergency Department needs more medical staff. It identified areas like triaging of mental health patients.

On money, Kingston Hospital has a structural deficit — like almost every hospital in England. While the deficit is smaller than most, a review of its finances before this inspection found the trust “requires improvement” for its use of resources.

The challenge for the Trust, after years of improvement, is continuing to find more areas to save money, safely. Kingston is already in the top 10% of NHS hospitals for productivity, and appears to be suffering from the NHS’s current financial framework, because it is efficient!

In my recent discussions with the senior team at Kingston Hospital, they recognise these challenges — alongside the staffing challenges posed by issues like Brexit, given they have many staff from other EU countries.

If you are interested, I’d recommend you reading this new report on Kingston Hospital — you can find a link to it on CQC's website here."

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