QEH’s annual review shows year-on-year improvements to patient care and services – QEH News

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (QEH) has published its Quality Account for 2021/22. All NHS Foundation Trusts must produce an annual Account and this year’s shows how the Trust has continued to make strong progress and significant improvements in many areas.

During 2021/22, QEH has:

  • Received improved ratings from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an unannounced inspection in December 2021 and Well-Led inspection in January 2022
  • Become one of the first Trusts in the country to be lifted out of segment four of the System Oversight Framework (previously known as ‘special measures’), meaning we no longer require ‘mandated intensive support’ from our regulator
  • Relentlessly focused on four main priorities, along with the wider system, in response to the challenges QEH and the wider NHS have faced
    • Addressing the waiting lists that have built up for elective care
    • The ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme
    • Providing timely urgent and emergency care, and
    • Staff health and wellbeing

Welcoming the publication of the Quality Account, QEH Chief Executive Caroline Shaw CBE said: “Over the last year we have continued to provide safe and compassionate care to our patients as we have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and have faced sustained pressures on our urgent and emergency care services.

“We have also kept a clear focus on improving the services we provide. The improvements set out very clearly in our report are the result of intensive hard work, focus and an absolute determination from our staff to continuously improve services and standards of care for our patients and their families.”

“The highpoint of 2021/22 for us all at Team QEH was the CQC recognising and endorsing our very considerable progress. QEH is now CQC ‘Good’ in the three core services inspected and in three domains – Caring, Well-Led and Effective. This shows just how far we have come in the last three years and is a firm foundation on which to base the next steps of our improvement journey. I am deeply grateful to all of our staff for their tireless commitment, passion and dedication to provide the very best care to our patients and to our local community, external partners and wider stakeholders for their continued, fantastic support which is instrumental in driving continuous improvements.”

The Quality Account describes the Trust’s commitment to reducing hospital-acquired infections, a £6m investment in further digitising our hospital, including introducing Electronic Prescribing, Single Sign On and a new Radiology Information System. The Trust has also launched a new five-year Clinical Strategy following extensive internal and external engagement. The report also outlines ongoing work to secure £862m of investment to create a new hospital on the current site as part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme.

Explaining the importance of securing a new hospital for King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Graham Ward, Acting Chair at QEH said: “In September 2021 we submitted two expressions of interest (EOIs) to the Department of Health and Social Care to become one of the further eight new hospital schemes – one for a single-phase new build and one for a multi-phase build, part new build and part refurbishment on our existing hospital site. As one of the ‘best buy’ RAAC hospitals with an end of life of 2030, we submitted two EOIs to give us the very best chance of securing the funding we so badly need. We know we have a compelling case that has unanimous support from our stakeholders and partners in Norfolk and Waveney, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, and we await a decision with optimism.”

The Trust has also acted on staff feedback, investing in areas such as extending free staff car parking, providing a Midnight Café, offering half-price gym memberships, and offering annual leave carry over and pay, as well as improving rest areas and refurbishing changing rooms.

Full and summary versions of our Quality Account are available here.


Notes for editors:

  • To arrange an interview with Louise Notley, Director of Patient Safety, or for further information, please contact CommunicationsQEH@qehkl.nhs.uk or call 01553 613216
  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected three core services during their unannounced visit in December 2021 – Medicine, Urgent and Emergency Care (including the Emergency Department) and Critical Care. All three services were rated ‘Good’ overall. The inspection team returned in January 2022 to complete a Well-Led inspection which resulted in a ‘Good’ rating for the Trust. This means QEH is now ‘Good’ in three domains – Caring, Well Led and Effective
  • The Strategic Outline Case (SOC) for a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital was completed in June 2022 with unanimous support from partners and stakeholders across Norfolk, Waveney, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. The SOC sets out associated indicative costs and details of how the development of our preferred new hospital scheme would be managed with clear timescales for completion
  • The current hospital has reached end of life (national experts say the current hospital has a 2030 deadline) due to being built from Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC)

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