Trust welcomes Healthwatch’s report into patient views on Charing Cross Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust welcomes Healthwatch’s draft report into patient views on the future of Charing Cross Hospital and their experiences of using the hospital, being presented today at Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Health, Adult Social Care and Social Inclusion Policy and Accountability Committee. Through a range of patient engagement activities, which the Trust helped to facilitate, Healthwatch said that most patients were “extremely satisfied” with their experience of the hospital overall. This was followed by high levels of “very satisfied” or “satisfied”. Very few people chose “not satisfied” or “not satisfied at all” in all cases.

The results complement the Care Quality Commission (CQC)’s recent report into medical care at Charing Cross Hospital that identified some outstanding practice at the hospital. The Trust recognises and will continue to respond to specific feedback on problems with cleanliness and signage at the site. 

Healthwatch also asked patients about future plans for Charing Cross. Under the Shaping a healthier future service strategy for north west London, Charing Cross is envisaged as becoming a ‘local hospital’ within a network of services, building on its role as a growing hub for integrated care offered in partnership with local GPs and community providers. 

The Healthwatch survey found no clear consensus about whether people felt that their health needs would be met by Charing Cross becoming a 'local hospital'. Just over 40 per cent said that their health needs would not be met, while just over 50 per cent said that their health needs would or may be met. Analysis of comments showed that most patients do not understand what a 'local hospital' means and how this is going to affect the services they currently receive.

When asked, more specifically, if they would be happy to receive the service they used at Charing Cross Hospital at a different setting close to their home, for example at their GP surgery, patients again gave a mixed response. Of patients from across the whole north west London area, 42 per cent said ‘no’, while 52 per cent said ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’. 

A large majority of patients were interested in shaping the future of Charing Cross Hospital, with 79 per cent of patients surveyed saying they wanted or may want to be involved, and only 21 per cent saying they did not want to be involved. 

Commenting on the draft report, interim Medical Director (quality, safety and strategy) Dr William Oldfield said: “Patient responses on the future of Charing Cross Hospital are understandable as, with our commissioners, we paused development and engagement on the ‘local hospital’ model - increasing demand for acute hospital services highlighted the need to focus first on the development of new models of care to help people stay healthy and avoid unnecessary and lengthy inpatient admissions. It’s encouraging, though, that the responses do indicate a willingness to consider and help shape new models of care. 

“We acknowledge Healthwatch’s recommendations for a clear and robust communications and engagement strategy on the future of Charing Cross Hospital and for more clarity about decision-making structures and lines of responsibility and accountability. 

“This is in line with our own approach and follows on from our well-received ‘open door’ event at Charing Cross in November for patients and the public that aimed to mark and celebrate the hospital’s past, share and clarify current plans and to look to the future. We are also actively encouraging and enabling involvement in all aspects of our work, including with the Hammersmith and Fulham integrated care partnership, mentioned in the Healthwatch report and which includes a number of other NHS and local authority partners as well as the Trust. We look forward to continuing to work with all our stakeholders on these very important issues.”


Notes to editors

To read the draft report click here