Healthwatch Kingston would like to acknowledge the high volume of positive feedback that was received, especially about the care and attitudes of staff across all the wards visited during this Enter and View visit in November and December 2019 and then in January 2020. Patients and relatives spoken with also shared a range of experiences about how the hospital had improved for them in the past few years.
Healthwatch Kingston would also like to recognise the broader context in which this report has been written and the extra pressures Kingston Hospital and other NHS and social care providers have been under responding to the impact of COVID-19.
It is important not to forget that Healthwatch Kingston conducted these visits to the adult inpatient wards at Kingston Hospital prior to the beginning of the first coronavirus pandemic lockdown in March 2020. We have been working with hospital staff across this period when feasible to progress the publication of this report, mindful of the challenges that responding to COVID-19 have brought. We do, however, always have in mind the patients who shared their experiences with us to make this report and its recommendations. We have been keen to publish this report, so they know we have listened to them.
To re-emphasise points made in the introduction of this report, Healthwatch Kingston and Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust continue to have a constructive relationship about the value of the patient experience in the continuous review and improvement of hospital services.
Healthwatch England published the Shifting The Mindset report in January 2020 as Healthwatch Kingston was completing the Enter and View visits. The report noted:
‘Reporting (by hospitals) needs to look beyond the numbers and response times and focus more on how to effectively demonstrate to patients and the public what has been learnt. This is the only way to give the public confidence that their concerns are being listened to and acted on.’
Healthwatch Kingston made nine recommendations to Kingston Hospital and their formal response is published in the report.
Healthwatch Kingston also acknowledges the mutually agreed extended timeline to formally complete this report for publication due to the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to prioritise a local response.
Kingston Hospital continues to strive to deliver quality elective, non-elective care and, linked with partners in the community, after care throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
Healthwatch Kingston would like to recognise the efforts made by staff and volunteers at the Kingston Hospital during this period. It is greatly appreciated.
Whereas Healthwatch England suspended Enter and View visits in March 2020, local Healthwatch still has an important role to play when it comes to alerting NHS and social care services of issues that relate to patient safety.
The delayed publication of this Enter and View report, of experiences shared with Healthwatch Kingston by patients, relatives, and staff, as well as the observations made by our authorised representative team of staff and volunteers during visits to Kingston Hospital adult inpatient wards in November and December 2019, and in January 2020, is part of our Healthwatch Kingston legislated role.
It is important to note that this report is a snapshot of observations gathered before the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Healthwatch Kingston enjoys a high degree of trust with Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and will continue to work with hospital colleagues to attend to feedback published in this and future reports.