Wandsworth Council and St George’s Hospital in Tooting have welcomed the introduction of a new hospital inspection regime.

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) new approach will be introduced at 18 NHS trusts within the next three months, with all hospitals being inspected by 2015.

Under the new regime hospitals will receive a mixture of announced and unannounced inspections. Visits will be carried out by larger inspection teams including:

  • a senior NHS clinician or executive
  • professional and clinical staff
  • Experts by Experience
  • patients
  • carers
  • other experts

Jim Maddan, Wandsworth Council’s executive member for adult care and health, said:

“The new approach is more comprehensive and puts patients at the heart of the inspection process. It will offer us a more detailed understanding of how our hospitals are performing and creates space for a broader range of critical opinions.

“Patients, patients’ families and hospital staff will have a direct role to play. Their feedback will help our hospitals in their drive to improve standards of care across the board.”

Miles Scott, chief executive at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Trust, said:

“We value the importance of the CQC in scrutinising NHS services on behalf of the public and the insight that independent inspections bring. Staff at St George’s work hard to provide the best care and environment possible and so we welcome monitoring which holds us to account on quality. We are very happy to continue working with Healthwatch Wandsworth who are so well placed to represent our local community.”

The departments/wards that the inspection teams will always look at are:

  • accident and emergency
  • maternity
  • paediatrics
  • acute medical and surgical pathways
  • care for the frail elderly
  • end of life care
  • outpatients (including discharge arrangements and joint work with other sectors)

The inspections will highlight hospitals that provide good and excellent care as well as those that provide poor care.

Where failings are uncovered the CQC will work with Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority to produce a clear programme to help the trust improve.

In April, a new watchdog group was set up by the council to champion the views of NHS patients and people in receipt of care services across Wandsworth.

Healthwatch Wandsworth makes sure that the interests of patients and other health and social care users is properly heard and that their concerns are acted on swiftly.

It will use the feedback it receives from members of the public to campaign for improvements in local health and social care services.

The watchdog is funded by Wandsworth Council but is totally independent of the town hall and independent of all the commissioners and providers of local health and social care services.

As well as working to influence and challenge how local services are delivered, it will also signpost people to information to help them make the best choices about their health and care options.

The watchdog is managed by Wandsworth Care Alliance, a local voluntary organization that will be working in partnership with Lifetimes to provide its patient information and signposting service.

Membership of Wandsworth Healthwatch is free to people who live and work in Wandsworth. Anyone can sign up to become a member at www.healthwatchwandsworth.co.uk. People can also get in touch with the organisation via Facebook and Twitter.

To find out more, including how to become a member, call (020) 8516 7767 or email: enquiries@healthwatchwandsworth.co.uk.

For more information visit www.healthwatchwandsworth.co.uk or via Twitter: @HWWands.

Notes to editors

For more information and for high resolution photography, please contact the Communications Unit on 020 8725 5151 or email: communications@stgeorges.nhs.uk. Outside working hours, please page us by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548. High res photos available on request.

About St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest healthcare providers in the UK. Its main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting – one of the country’s principal teaching hospitals – is shared with St George’s, University of London, which trains medical students and carries out advanced medical research. As well as acute hospital services, the trust provides a wide variety of specialist and community hospital based care and a full range of community services to children, adults, older people and people with learning disabilities. These services are provided from Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, 11 health centres and clinics, schools and nurseries, patients’ homes and Wandsworth Prison.

St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is one of four major trauma centres and one of eight hyper acute stroke units for London.

The trust is an accredited centre of excellence for trauma, neurology, cardiology, cancer and blood pressure services, and the national centre for family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases.

For more information, visit www.xstgeorges.nhs.uk