Get Surrey reported today, 3 February 2014, that the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford has begun implementing changes after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report produced in December highlighted a number of areas for improvement.

In conjunction with the issues surrounding the Francis report last year, the CQC has changed its inspection approach and now uses a more through and widespread assessment. The Royal Surrey County Hospital was one of the first hospitals to be assessed under the ‘new’ scheme.

These initial assessments graded hospitals in three broad categories – high risk, low risk and ‘having some risk points’. In the case of the Royal Surrey, the inspectors judged the hospital to be safe, caring and well-led but advised on some risk points and flagged issues with staffing levels, managing patients’ pain, and significant delays in discharging people from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Get Surrey reported that the hospital has immediately taken on board the CQC report and issues raised and is responding with an action plan to address the areas identified for improvement. These include:

  • to reduce waiting times at its ICU, the hospital has started to have three bed meetings on a daily basis, attended by the ICU matron or lead ICU nurse, which include full discussions and planning for patients
  • undertaking a staffing review of the eye clinic which will focus on patient experience
  • a full review on staffing levels in outpatients departments is also being undertaken, along with close daily supervision of staffing levels on wards by matrons
  • aiming to have 95% of its staff being permanent members, as opposed to temporary bank and agency staff, by September 2014.

Philippa Luscombe, partner in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches (which has offices in Guildford and Godalming), commented: “Last year we heard a lot about the need for hospitals to be subject to rigorous assessment and follow up so this is a really ‘good news’ story. A thorough assessment was done, areas for improvement were identified and the hospital is clearly being pro active in taking steps to address the areas highlighted. In our experience, the Royal Surrey generally has high standards and it is good to see the hospital doing well on assessment and being pro active in implementing the required changes.”