We work closely with a number of partner organisations to develop and provide services that meet the needs of our patients. ​

Our partners

We work closely with a number of partner organisations to develop and provide services that meet the needs of our patients.

As a provider of acute and specialist healthcare, we are a key part of the NHS and the wider health and social care system.  We are committed to playing our full part in helping our patients and local communities to be as healthy as possible. This means working in partnership, informing and involving others in our work and plans. You can see the most recent edition of our Partner update here.

Patients and citizens

We seek to involve patients, their families and carers, and local citizens in our work, informing and helping to shape our plans. Our services have strong links with groups representing service users as well as with national charities that represent and support patients, such as Macmillan Cancer Care and the British Kidney Patient Association. Increasingly, we are working in partnership to improve care and develop new services.  

See Get involved to find out about opportunities for shaping our service and plans.

We also work closely with Healthwatch, the independent ‘consumer champion’ for health and social care. There is a Healthwatch in every local authority area across England, and our local Healthwatch groups provide vital feedback on our services. The team at Healthwatch Central West London covers the two boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. While the team at Healthwatch Hammersmith & Fulham covers the Hammersmith & Fulham local authority area.

Acute provider collaboration

We work in partnership with a wide range of other NHS providers in north west London and beyond.

Together with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust we were pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Swindells as our new joint chair. Matthew took up his position on 1 April 2022.

Our four trusts – responsible for 12 hospitals across north west London – had already begun to embed closer partnership working through a joint acute care board focusing on expanding planned care capacity and tackling waiting times in the wake of the pandemic. It was set up in March 2021 after our response to the first waves of Covid-19 infections demonstrated how much more could be achieved through greater collaboration.

The appointment of a joint chair is a key next step in strengthening collaboration as we move towards becoming a formal acute care collaborative in line with national NHS policy. While remaining separate organisations, we will seek to maximise our potential for joint working for the benefit of our local population, patients and staff.

Our lay partners

We are committed to increasing and deepening the involvement of patients and the public in every aspect of our work. One important element of our involvement approach is our community of lay partners – local people and/or patients who provide independent insight and oversight on a voluntary basis to help ensure we understand and respond to the needs of our patients and local communities.

The strategic lay forum was established in 2015 to ensure we put patients at the centre of everything we do and to guide and oversee our patient and public involvement strategy. It brings 12 lay partners together with senior staff from across the Trust and representatives from Imperial College and Imperial Health Charity, meeting formally every two months.

Lay partners on the forum and beyond are involved in a wide range of strategic programmes, projects and discussions. As of the end of 2021/22, the Trust had 62 lay partner roles supporting 33 projects. Since November 2016, we have engaged with 150 lay partners on various projects.

GPs and referrers

We work for and with GPs, and other health care professionals who refer patients to us, across north west London and beyond. For local GPs, we provide a number of telephone referral services, a telephone liaison service and regular professional development events. Increasingly, we are working in partnership with local GPs to provide and support healthcare closer to patients’ homes, including in community clinics and GP practices.

See GPs and referrers for more information.

North West London Integrated Care System

Over 30 NHS, local authority and voluntary sector partners, including our Trust, are working together to improve health and care for the population of north west London through one of London’s five integrated care systems (ICSs).

The NW London Integrated Care System (ICS) covers the eight boroughs of NW London and brings together all health and care organisations working to deliver against the four core national objectives of ICSs which are to:

  • Improve outcomes in population health and health care
  • Prevent ill health and tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access
  • Enhance productivity and value for money
  • Support broader economic and social development 

Local authorities

The local authorities for the eight boroughs we serve are responsible for scrutinising our organisation to make sure we are providing effective, efficient health services for local communities.

Our regulators

As an NHS provider, the Trust works with several different regulators. The main regulators are NHS England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. The CQC monitors NHS trust services using five quality domains: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Additionally, the CQC uses a well-led framework specifically for NHS trust executive teams and boards, which it developed and uses in conjunction with NHS England. Monitoring includes inspections, after which the CQC awards performance ratings for each domain overall, as well as the Trust overall. During 2021/22, routine activity for NHS trusts was limited to certain monitoring activities, with no routine inspections being undertaken and, as a result, the Trust has not been inspected and its overall ratings remain as they were in July 2019, after its last inspection:

  • The Trust is currently rated overall as ‘requires improvement’
  • It is rated overall as ‘good’ for the caring and effective domains, ‘good’ for well-led, and ‘requires improvement’ for the safe and responsive domains
  • Eight core services were inspected in February 2019 and the CQC increased its ratings for six of them; all of them were rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ and the overall rating for Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital was increased to ‘outstanding’.

The CQC has continued to undertake urgent inspections throughout the pandemic, where there are concerns that people have been harmed or are at imminent risk of harm.

The CQC did not undertake an urgent inspection at the Trust during 2021/22.

The Trust continued to attend CQC routine engagement meetings and to respond to CQC requests for information during 2021/22. The CQC did not take any enforcement action with the Trust during 2021/22.

The CQC launched its new five-year regulatory strategy for 2021-26 in May 2021. Methodology for implementing the new strategy was developed during 2021/22, which is why no routine inspections were carried out for NHS trusts during the past year. The new methodology for NHS trusts is anticipated to be published and take effect in spring 2022 and routine inspections are expected to resume during 2022/23.

Read more about our inspection and the progress we’ve made since.

Education and research

As well as being part of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre, the Trust, in partnership with Imperial College London, hosts one of 20 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs). This research infrastructure funding is awarded to the most outstanding NHS and university research partnerships in the country, leaders in scientific translation and early adopters of new insights in technologies, techniques and treatments for improving health.

Our current five-year BRC programme is worth £91m over the period 2017-22. Following the submission of our competitive application for the next five-year programme, we expect to hear the outcome in summer 2022. In 2021/22, the NIHR Imperial BRC supported 898 clinical research projects across 12 different disease areas.

The Trust is also part of the NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative (NIHR HIC), together with several other NHS trusts around the country. This collaboration brings together clinical, scientific and informatics expertise to enable NHS clinical data to be catalogued, shared and analysed to gain new insights into care and treatment through research.
As one of the NHS’s Global Digital Exemplars, we have been leading the way in using advances in digital technology to make tangible improvements to the care of our patients.

We are a major provider of education and training for doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals including therapists, pharmacists, radiographers and healthcare scientists. In 2021/22, some 1,900 Imperial College London medical undergraduates trained with us. We had 450 student nurses in training during the year, many of whom gained their first job or qualification with us.

See also education and research sections.

Our charity partners

We work closely with Imperial Health Charity, which helps our five hospitals do more through grants, arts, volunteering and fundraising. In 2021/22, the Charity invested £4.4m in a wide range of initiatives for the benefit of patients and staff.

The Charity funds major redevelopments, research and medical equipment at our hospitals as well as helping patients and their families at times of extreme financial difficulty. Supporting the arts in healthcare, the Charity manages an Arts Council England accredited hospital art collection and runs an arts engagement programme for patients and staff. It manages volunteering across all five hospitals, adding value to the work of staff and helping to improve the hospital experience for patients.

Throughout the pandemic the Charity has provided generous support to our staff in their efforts to maintain exceptional patient care during a period of such extraordinary pressure. Additional funds enabled us to offer an expanded counselling service for our staff as well as progressing our staff spaces improvement programme. We have progressed with enhancements to more than 90 staff spaces so far, including a mix of basic redecoration and refurbishment of breakrooms, changing areas, showers and toilets and the supply of new furniture and kitchen equipment.

Alongside its arts and volunteering activities, the Charity has also funded a wide range of research and innovation projects through its annual grants programmes.
We also receive generous support both from COSMIC (formed by the merger of Children of St Mary’s Intensive Care and the Winnicott Foundation) which raised funds for our children’s and neonatal intensive care units, and from each of the Friends of St Mary’s, Charing Cross, and Hammersmith hospitals.