New and improved CQC ratings for outpatient and diagnostic services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today published new and improved ratings for outpatient and diagnostic imaging services at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. This comes following an inspection carried out in November 2016 at St Mary’s, Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals.

Ratings have improved at all three sites with St Mary’s and Hammersmith hospitals increasing by two levels to ‘good’ overall and Charing Cross Hospital by one level to ‘requires improvement’. The CQC found no compliance or ‘must do’ actions as a result of the inspection.

A major outpatient improvement programme introduced by the Trust to raise standards in its outpatients departments, has been recognised by the CQC as ‘outstanding practice’. The programme – supported by £7 million of funding from Imperial Health Charity – includes:

• extensive refurbishment of outpatient clinics
• investment in better patient administration and IT systems including electronic appointment letters and GP referrals
• more patient-focused care pathways
• better staff leadership and engagement

Dr Tracey Batten, chief executive, said:

“We are hugely encouraged by the CQC report and the recognition of our outpatient improvement programme. The improved ratings from the CQC are a testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff to improve services for our patients.

“However, we recognise there is still more to do, especially to reduce waiting times and to ensure an inclusive and positive organisational culture for all staff across our organisation. Work is now underway to ensure that all of the concerns, recommendations and good practice identified by the CQC are captured in our plans for the next two years.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners and stakeholders, and especially with patients and local communities, to move all of our ratings to ‘good’ – while striving for ‘outstanding’.”

The outpatient improvement programme continues throughout the Trust. To read the full reports please click here.