MP Urges Support for RHCH


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MP Urges Support For RHCH Staff

Steve Brine’s comments follow Care Quality Report “We must not sensationalise the findings”

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has called for improvements at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The Commission inspected three of the Trust’s services in June and July 2018 – medicine, surgery and the emergency departments. The inspector’s report gives the Trust an overall rating of Requires Improvement with a rating of Good for Care.

The report highlighted a number of areas of excellent practice including the Trust’s dementia services and the world class cancer services for pseudomyxoma.  The Trust retains the rating of Outstanding for end of life care from the previous inspection.

The inspectors commented on the caring and compassionate staff saying “Staff cared for patients with compassion and kindness and feedback from patients about staff was consistently positive.”


Alex Whitfield is chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: I am glad that the inspectors recognised the dedication and compassion of our staff.  I see this around our hospitals every day.

However, it is disappointing that there are a number of areas where our services are not consistently at the standard we would want for our patients.

We take the safety of our patients and their care very seriously and we have already made changes responding to the conditions highlighted by the inspectors and have further improvements planned. We will continue to work tirelessly to put patient care and safety at the heart of everything we do.

“We have already changed the emergency department layout so that patients waiting are more visible to clinical teams, and can be more easily observed.  We have also increased the frequency of checks on patients so that we can pick up more quickly when they are becoming poorly. In Andover, we have moved to separate surgical lists for men and women so they are not in the same space at the same time, to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect patient dignity.


“We recognise we have problems with our ageing buildings and this has been thrown most sharply into focus in our emergency departments where we have seen a 25% increase in attendances in recent years.  We are delighted to have secured £4 million in capital funding from the government to help further improve the layout of our emergency departments and acute assessment units and increase their capacity. We know we are looking after more elderly frail people who are sicker and hence need to be admitted and this has had an impact across the whole Trust.

“We absolutely strive to do our best for each and every one of our patients, but we know that we need to do even better. Our focus has always been on providing outstanding care, and that is true now more than ever.”

Winchester’s MP Steve Brine met with HHFT Chief Executive, Alex Whitfield last week: “This CQC report is worrying but I don’t think it comes as a huge surprise because of the pressures our emergency department has been under and the ageing building it inhabits.


“What we must not do in response is sensationalise the findings or join the dots in a way that draws the wrong conclusions – because many dedicated and caring people work at the RHCH and they deserve the space and the support to turn things around.”

“Many of my constituents attending A and E – and indeed myself as a patient with my son recently – report a positive experience at our hospital and certainly the NHS’ version of ‘Tripadvisor’ backs that up.

“I have already met with the Chief Executive to hear the work they’ve done since the inspection back in June and how they plan to use the £4.06m the Department of Health has this month given the Trust for capital investment.”


(Image: Winchester MP Steve Brine visited the RHCH in Winchester last week to meet with Alex Whitfield, and also paid a visit to the hospital pharmacy team.)