- Inspectors found “workforce that was committed to providing safe, dignified care to its patients.”
- CQC also identified a number of areas where improvements are needed.
In July 2021, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out a focused inspection of the Emergency Department at King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill site) to look at patient care, culture, governance, leadership, and pressures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the inspection, the CQC observed good practice in the department, but also recommended improvements in a number of areas.
The CQC found that:
- Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and took account of their individual needs.
- Staff understood how to recognise and protect patients from abuse and the service worked well with other agencies to do so.
- The service had enough nursing staff and support staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep patients safe from avoidable harm and to provide the right care and treatment. Managers regularly reviewed the staffing levels and skill mix.
However, the CQC also noted that the age and layout of the building in which the ED is based sometimes made it difficult for staff to provide the best possible care for patients.
Inspectors also raised concerns about clutter in the department, including boxes and other items lying around which were hazards for staff and patients.
The CQC also said that patient privacy wasn’t always maintained, and that signage within the department needed to be improved to support effective infection prevention and control measures for COVID-19.
The Trust has already taken action to address issues raised by the CQC’s last inspection of the Emergency Department at King’s in 2019, including a dedicated mental health facility for paediatric patients and a marked improvement in mandatory training compliance.
Professor Clive Kay, Chief Executive, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Firstly, I am proud that staff in the Emergency Department at King’s were found to treat patients with compassion and kindness – two fundamental elements of good care.
“A number of changes were made in our ED to improve standards following the CQC’s inspection in 2019. These have been reflected in the CQC’s most recent report, but we know there is a lot more work to do.
“Providing safe and effective care for patients is our number one priority. We are taking steps to address issues raised in the CQC’s report, and we are committed to delivering further improvements as quickly as possible.”
The report will be published on the CQC’s website on Thursday 30 September. The Emergency Department at King’s’ overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’ from the CQC remains unchanged.