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Regulator praises quality of specialist nursing care at private hospital in capital

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The care provided by specialist nurses at the London Bridge Hospital has been praised by inspectors, who rated the independent facility “outstanding” overall.

The hospital was awarded the top rating by the Care Quality Commission following a series of scheduled and unannounced inspection visits in the autumn of last year.

“Staff were encouraged and motivated to take part in learning opportunities”

Ellen Armistead

Run by HCA Healthcare UK, the hospital provides a range of surgical procedures and medical care, including cancer treatment and end of life care.

It has 124 inpatient beds, four renal dialysis chairs and 15 day case trolleys. Facilities include six operating theatres, an 18-bed critical care unit, catheter laboratory, and various outpatient and diagnostic imaging facilities.

As well as its overall rating, the CQC rated the hospital “outstanding” for being responsive and well-led and “good” for being safe, caring and effective.

Inspectors particularly noted the contribution made by the hospital’s 23 clinical nurse specialists working in areas such as nutrition, diabetes, gastrointestinal conditions, cardiac care and symptom control for cancer patients.

“These nurses assisted in improving care and implementing positive change,” said the regulator’s report.

The CQC also praised the support and training on offer to staff, who include more than 270 full-time equivalent nurses, more than 30 full-time care assistants and the hospital’s own bank staff.

“I am extremely proud of our dedicated team of doctors and staff”

Janene Madden

Ellen Armistead, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “Leadership at both a local and senior level was visible and staff were overwhelmingly positive about the support they received from their managers.

“They felt that they could raise issues in a timely manner and their concerns would be listened to and acted upon,” she said.

She added: “Staff were encouraged and motivated to take part in learning opportunities provided by the hospital. Learning included master’s degrees, specialist training in renal, intensive care and cardiac conditions.”

Outstanding areas of practice included the use of an electronic key system to access and dispense medication, said the CQC. The system allowed senior staff to see who had opened specific medicine cupboards at a specific time and also meant staff could access medicine quickly, reducing delays.

Another outstanding area highlighted by the regulator was the hospital’s “excellent multi-disciplinary team working, with close collaboration between all staff including”. Examples included undertaking live donor liver transplants with a local liver specialist team.

Ellen Armistead

Ellen Armistead

Ellen Armistead

There were some areas the hospital was told to improve, including ensuring staff knew how to care for patients with learning disabilities and ensuring equipment in theatres was stored safely.

Hospital chief executive Janene Madden said the overall rating of outstanding reflected the hard work of staff.

“This outstanding result reflects the high quality and compassionate patient care delivered throughout the hospital,” she said.

“I am extremely proud of our dedicated team of doctors and staff who commit every day to going above and beyond,” said Ms Madden.

She added: “It is great to see that the CQC have recognised London Bridge Hospital’s commitment to innovation. Whether this is through new technologies and state-of-the-art facilities, contributions to national research or developing new ways of working, this is central in our drive to continually raise standards and improve care for patients.”

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