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Ashford Hospital

I wanted to update you following a recent CQC (Care Quality Commission) visit to Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. I am pleased to announce that overall the Trust continues to be rated as good following this inspection.

In November, CQC carried out an unannounced focused inspection of Ashford Hospital to look at how safe and well-led surgical services were. Inspectors also carried out an unannounced focused inspection at St. Peter’s Hospital at the same time. This was to look at how safe and well-led medical care and surgical services were.

We recognise that there are areas for improvement and there has been a change in rating for some services, but we were encouraged to see many good areas of practice noted by the inspectors.

Following the inspection, the CQC have prepared a report which assesses the levels of quality and safety of care our Trust provides. At the same time, we have been making our own assessment and putting in place plans for areas where we think we can improve.

We were particularly pleased to read about areas where outstanding practice was noted including seeing staff responding to individual patient needs whilst mitigating risk, and the initiatives that have been introduced to reduce patient falls. The theatres and day surgery team were also praised for the implementation of systems to enable staff to respond effectively to emergency situations. They also found an example of outstanding practice with the Healing Arts steering group’s Time Garden project, recognising the importance of environment on supporting healing, both physical and psychological. Another initiative found to be outstanding was the development of an effective support package for newly recruited international staff that enabled them to gain UK registration.

Where the CQC have alerted us to issues, such as some staff not being up to date with mandatory training, not having enough nursing staff, and some staff feeling unsupported, we are taking immediate action and will be working together with colleagues across the organisation to make changes that lead to improvements in these areas.

We are always very open to visits by the CQC and welcome their feedback and report. Whilst we recognise there are areas for improvement, we were encouraged to see many good areas of practice noted by the inspectors.

Andrea Lewis
Chief Nurse