News

​​Monitor investigation at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Date: 05 March 2015

Health regulator, Monitor, has opened an investigation into King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.This investigation will help to decide what resources and support King's needs to deal with its financial problems and to improve operational issues such as reducing waiting times for patients at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH).

We are well aware of the financial and operational challenges for King's and in particular the PRUH. We have been working closely with King's and other partners across the Bromley health and care system to ensure that patients receive safe, high quality services and that we are well-equipped and prepared to cope with the increasing demand for care.

King's has worked hard to improve quality of care at the PRUH and there have been many excellent improvements, such as within the hyperacute stroke unit and the improved recruitment of a wide range of clinical staff.  However, problems with the financial and operational performance of the hospital were greater than anticipated, and the Trust has been working with Monitor for the last few months to ascertain the best way to resolve these. 

The CCG has invested in additional capacity to help bring waiting lists down for Bromley patients and to manage the extra demand that winter brings.  This has enabled local health and social care organisations to increase the supply and range of services available to patients. 

The benefits to patients include:

  • Seven day working.   Services that before only ran during the week now operate over the weekend such as hospital pharmacy, urgent scans, more senior doctors in the emergency department and senior doctors.  Of particular success has been the London Borough of Bromley's provision of social care assessments.  Social workers have increased the number of assessments completed over the weekend which is helping patients return home from hospital quickly.

  • An ambulatory care unit opened last May for patients with urgent medical conditions, is seeing around 280 people a month.

  • Expansion of the medical response team, run by Bromley Healthcare to provide urgent care to people at home.  Many people would have been admitted to hospital if this type of home care was not available.

  • A new service to support people who live in extra care housing.  A visiting medical officer is able to provide medical help to manage health emergencies in tenants own homes.

  • More intensive support is available to families and patients who are in their last few weeks of life.  More nursing and personal care is available to help people die in the place of their choice.

  • Over the winter, two specialist dementia nurses offered assessments to people living in residential homes to help improve the diagnosis rates and care for people with dementia.

  • Mental health support available to people in a crisis has been doubled and includes provision for children and young people.

Additional investment has also enabled people to return home from hospital sooner than they might otherwise have done:

  • A fast response personal care package is offering patients extra support when they are discharged from hospital to help them get back on their feet.

  • An intensive personal care package is offering patients on average 150 hours of support on discharge from hospital and is providing a genuine alternative to long term residential care.

  • Additional investment in the 'Take Home and Settle' service provided by Age UK.

  • Getting people the right equipment they need to remain independent on discharge.

The CCG will continue to work closely with King's and other local organisations to improve the quality of health services for Bromley patients. We support the work Monitor and King's are undertaking, and await the outcome of the investigation.

 

  • Summary:

    Health regulator, Monitor, has opened an investigation into King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.This investigation will help to decide what resources and support King's needs to deal with its financial problems and to improve operational issues such as reducing waiting times for patients at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH).

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