England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals is inviting members of the public to tell his inspection panel what they think of the services provided at St George’s Hospital and in the community in Wandsworth, and by South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust across south west London.
Their views and experiences will help inspectors decide what to look at when they inspect the two south west London trusts in February and March.
St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust is among the first acute trusts to be inspected and given an overall rating under radical changes which have been introduced by the Care Quality Commission. The formal inspection will start on Tuesday 11 February.
CQC will be inspecting South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, one of the first five mental health trusts to be inspected under the changes, in March. The formal inspection will start on Monday 17 March.
The Chief Inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, announced last year that he will lead significantly larger inspection teams than before, headed up by clinical and other experts including trained members of the public who have experience of using services.
To ensure the views of patients and the local community are properly heard, the inspectors will be holding a listening event at 6.30pm on Monday 10 February at: Earlsfield Library, 276 Magdalen Road, Earlsfield, SW18 3NY (http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/directory_record/593/earlsfield_library).
People are being encouraged to attend the listening event to find out more about the inspection process, to tell the team about their experiences of care and to say where they would like to see improvements made in the future.
Sir Mike said: "The new inspections are designed to provide people with a clear picture of the quality of local NHS services in their local hospital and beyond, exposing poor or mediocre care as well as highlighting the many hospitals and services providing good and excellent care.
"We know there is too much variation in quality – these new in-depth inspections will allow us to get a much more detailed picture of care than ever before.
"Of course we will be talking to doctors and nurses, managers and patients. But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have had care, or anyone who wants to share information with us. This will help us plan our inspection, and so help us focus on the things that really matter to people who depend on this service.
“This is your opportunity to tell me and my team what you think, and make a difference to NHS services in the local area.”
Sir Mike's inspection team is expected to look in detail at eight key service areas within St George’s Hospital: A&E; medical care (including frail elderly); surgery; intensive/critical care; maternity; paediatrics/children’s care; end of life care; and outpatients. The team will also look at community services in Wandsworth.
St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust will be one of the first acute trusts to be given one of the following ratings: Outstanding, Good, Requiring improvement, or Inadequate.
Sir Mike announced last year that CQC would be putting a greater emphasis on inspecting the care that people with mental health problems receive in the community, at the same time as inspecting services for people who are admitted to hospital for assessment or treatment.
At South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, the inspection team will look in detail at a full range of services including acute admission wards for all age groups, psychiatric intensive care units and health-based places of safety, long stay forensic secure services, child and adolescent mental health services, services for older people including inpatient services and some community services, hospital and community services for people with learning disabilities or autism, adult community-based services including crisis services, and specialist eating disorder services.
Full reports of the inspectors’ findings about both trusts will be published by the Care Quality Commission later in the year.
For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232 143.
For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.
Notes to editors
CQC is asking people who would like to attend the listening event to contact us either by telephone, email or online.
• Online: http://www.cqc.org.uk/public/listening-events
• By email: email@example.com
• By letter: CQC, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4PA
• By phone: 03000 61 61 61
This will help us with planning for the event, but people are free to turn up on the evening even if they haven’t registered. We’d appreciate it if you could include these details in any coverage as we are keen to reach as wide an audience as possible.
Anyone who is unable to attend the listening event but wishes to give their views to the inspection team can do this by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the listening events will not be open to the media, we will make sure there are other opportunities for journalists to talk to panel members about the inspection – please contact us and we will set something up for you. The listening event is being held to enable members of the public to share their experiences of care with members of the inspection team. These discussions will take place in small groups, and we want people to be able to talk safe in the knowledge that the confidences they are sharing will be respected.
Sir Mike has identified 19 acute NHS trusts to be inspected in the first three months of 2014 under the new inspection regime. St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust was included as a foundation trust applicant that Monitor has asked us to look at.
In the first wave of pilot inspections of mental health trusts, CQC has selected five trusts that provide specialist mental health services giving priority to organisations aspiring to be foundation trusts.
• Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust
• Devon Partnership NHS Trust
• Dudley & Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
• South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
• Solent NHS Trust.
About the Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and we encourage care services to improve. We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.