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.
We work in partnership with a wide range of other NHS providers in north west London and beyond.
In early 2021, we came together with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, The Hillingdon Hospitals and London North West University Healthcare to establish a joint acute care board and programme to guide and coordinate developments across all of our key operational areas, including: planned surgery, cancer care, outpatients, intensive care, urgent and emergency care and diagnostics and imaging. The effectiveness of our response to the pandemic has demonstrated that we can – and should – do more to harness our collective resources, join-up our care and reduce unwarranted variations in access and outcomes. You can see the most recent briefing from the acute care providers here.
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 oversee our patient and public involvement strategy. The forum meets every two months, when 12 lay partners and key staff from around the Trust come together to review and develop plans to make sure care is patient-centred, integrated and based on patients’ wants, needs and preferences.
Lay partners on the forum and beyond are also involved in a wide range of strategic programmes, projects and discussions. As of the end of 2020/21, the Trust had 62 lay partner roles supporting 25 projects. Since November 2016, we have engaged with 138 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
Historically, around half of our care has been commissioned by eight north west London local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), about 40 per cent – specialist care, by NHS England and the remaining 10 per cent or so, by others, including CCGs beyond our local area.
In response to the recommendation in the NHS Long Term Plan that the number of CCGs be significantly reduced to align with the emerging integrated care systems (ICSs), 2020/21 was a year of transition as work got under way towards a merger of the eight CCGs in north west London into a single North West London CCG. The formation of one organisation in April 2021 is a key step towards forming an ICS in our part of London. The role of the North West London CCG continues to be to commission health services for local people across the eight boroughs:
- Hammersmith & Fulham
- Kensington and Chelsea
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 emerging integrated care systems (ICSs).
In February 2021, the Government published proposals to make ICSs statutory bodies across the country. This would mean that the NHS and local councils work together legally as part of ICSs, to plan health and care services around local population needs.
All NHS organisations and local authorities in north west London have been working informally as an ICS ahead of legislation which is expected during 2021, with ICSs becoming legally recognised bodies from April 2022.
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.
As an NHS provider, the Trust works with several different regulators. The main regulators are NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
NHS England and NHS Improvement lead the NHS in England and came together as a single organisation in April 2019.
The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. The CQC monitors and inspects the Trust’s sites using < href="https://www.england.nhs.uk/well-led-framework/" target="_blank">five quality domains: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Following inspections, the CQC awards performance ratings for each domain as well as the Trust overall.
The Trust is currently rated overall as ‘requires improvement’; it is rated overall as ‘good’ for the caring and effective domains, and ‘requires improvement’ for the safe, responsive and well-led domains. Trust services were last inspected in February 2019 (report published in July 2019) – eight core services were inspected 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’. A separate ‘well-led’ inspection in April 2019 increased our overall well-led rating to ‘good’.
In response to the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, in March 2021, the CQC suspended all routine monitoring and inspections; this suspension remained in effect for the duration of 2020/21.
The CQC introduced a temporary regulatory framework, called the transitional regulatory approach (TRA), which included two virtual assessments for the Trust: one for infection prevention and control in July 2020 and the other for urgent and emergency services in November 2020. The CQC did not raise any concerns in relation to either assessment and the Trust was not asked to take any action.
Education and research
With our key academic partner, Imperial College London, we are one of the UK’s eight academic health science centres, working to ensure the rapid translation of research for better patient care and excellence in education. We are also part of Imperial College Health Partners – the academic health science network for north west London – spreading innovation and best practice in healthcare more widely across our region.
In partnership with Imperial College London, we host 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. In 2020/21, the NIHR Imperial BRC supported 947 clinical research projects across 29 different disease areas.
We are 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.
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 2020/21, some 1,997 Imperial College London medical undergraduates trained with us. We had 565 student nurses in training during the year, many of whom gained their first job or qualification with us.
Our partners and partnerships in education, training and research also include:
- Health Education North West London, our local education and training board
- Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for North West London, an alliance of academic and healthcare organisations working for accelerated and sustainable uptake of research that improves patient care
- Bucks New University, providing rich and varied learning opportunities for nurses and midwives
- The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery at King’s College London, developing nurses and midwives
Our charity partners
We work closely with Imperial Health Charity, which helps our five hospitals do more through grants, arts, volunteering and fundraising. In 2020/21, the charity invested £6.4m in a wide range of initiatives for the benefit of patients and staff, including £3.1m to support our Covid-19 response.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity has provided vital support to help our staff and patients, including a £1.7m grant to fund improvements to staff spaces and extra counselling services through our staff support Covid-19 legacy programme (see page 20) During the year, the charity also mobilised more than 500 crisis response volunteers to deliver free meals, run pop-up shops, welcome visitors and assist with the staff vaccination programme.
The charity also funds facility redevelopments, research and medical equipment, 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.
During 2020/21, we also received 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.
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