Response to CQC emergency department survey results

Responding to publication of the CQC’s 2016 emergency department survey, divisional director for medicine Professor Tim Orchard said:

“While we are disappointed that the results for 2016 show our Trust as performing ‘worse than expected’, it is reassuring that the problems it identifies are reflected in our own improvement programme. We will now use the feedback to shape our on-going developments further.

“There are also many areas to build on, with patients who completed the survey rating their overall experience with us above 7 out of 10, and many positive responses about the care our staff provided.

“During the period of the survey last winter, we were in the process of:

• expanding and refurbishing St Mary’s emergency department - increasing the number of resuscitation bays from four to six and adding a new four-bed children’s assessment unit
• increasing medical staffing at St Mary’s and Charing Cross emergency departments, with eight additional consultants appointed since 2015, three of whom are paediatric emergency medicine consultants
• increasing nurse staffing in both emergency departments, including employing our own specialist mental health nursing team to enable one-to-one support where needed
• expanding our ambulatory emergency care services at both hospitals, to allow GPs and Trust clinicians to refer suitable patients directly for urgent review, avoiding the emergency department.

“We are currently developing plans to expand and refurbish Charing Cross emergency department, with work expected to begin in early 2018.

“The urgent care centre at St Mary’s has been run by the independent sector organisation Vocare since April 2016 when they were awarded the contract by our local commissioners. Vocare was recently placed in special measures by the CQC and we are working to help them address the urgent concerns raised by the CQC which we believe will also bring benefits for the running of our own emergency department.

“Our emergency department staff continue to work very hard to respond to growing demand and provide the best possible care for our patients. The number of ‘type 1’ patients attending our emergency departments increased by almost five per cent between the first half of 2015/16 and the first of 2017/18. There has been close to a 40 per cent increase in the number of recorded ‘blue-light’ attendances between the same periods, from over 2,900 to almost 4,100.”