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Well-led rating for King’s upgraded to ‘Good’

22 February 2023 - The Trust has been rated ‘Good’ for its leadership arrangements, following a well-led review carried out from October to December last year.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) well-led review – which also included unannounced inspections of two core services – has rated the Trust’s leadership arrangements as ‘Good’, having previously rated them as ‘Requires Improvement’.

The core services inspected by the CQC as part of the well-led review were those for children and young people at King’s College Hospital (Denmark Hill), as well as medicine (including services for older people), at the same hospital.

The rating for children and young people (‘Good’) is unchanged from the last time it was inspected by the CQC. The rating for medicine (including services for older people) is now ‘Requires Improvement’, having been rated ‘Good’ the last time it was inspected.

The Trust’s overall rating is ‘Requires Improvement’, and this remains unchanged from previous inspections.

Leadership improvements

During their well-led review, the CCQ praised improvements in leadership arrangements at the Trust, and the positive impact this had had on staff, and hospital services.

The CQC found that the strength, strategic focus and accountability of the leadership team had improved. The inspection report also highlighted the development of good objectives and plans, which supported staff to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

The inspection team also found that staff understood the Trust’s new BOLD vision and strategy, and organisational Values, and that clinicians, patients and members of the local community were involved in shaping and developing them.

The CQC found that the leadership team now benefits from experienced and knowledgeable professionals, who were setting the right priorities to support people to achieve good outcomes. They also found that Trust leaders worked collaboratively with the wider health and social care system to ensure hospital services met the needs of local people.

Further work needed in a number of areas

During their inspection, the CQC also identified a number of areas where improvements were needed, which the Trust is committed to delivering.

The CQC found that hospital services at King’s – like many Trusts – didn’t always have the staffing levels required to support it to provide safe care and treatment to people who use King’s services. The CQC also identified challenges experienced by staff based at the Trust in efficiently discharging patients who are fit to leave hospital to other services.

A number of additional areas for improvement are highlighted in the CQC’s inspection report, and the Trust leadership team will be working with staff in the relevant services to ensure the necessary improvements are delivered at pace.

“A positive step in the right direction, but significant improvements still needed.”

Professor Clive Kay, Chief Executive of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Leadership stability and having a clear plan for the future is vital for any organisation, and I am pleased the CQC have recognised the work we have done in this area over recent years.”

“The CQC’s improved well-led rating for King’s is a positive step in the right direction, and I remain incredibly grateful to our patients and partners for their support, as well as the 15,000 colleagues who make the Trust such a special organisation to lead.

“However, as always, we mustn’t be complacent, and the CQC’s report published today shows that we have a lot more to do in some key areas, and a number of significant improvements to make – and that is where our focus will now turn.”

The inspection report is available to view on the CQC’s website.