Health trust praised for ‘outstanding practice’ at East Surrey hospital

Health regulators who carried out a spot-check on infection control at East Surrey Hospital say they found examples of ‘outstanding practice.’

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission made an unannounced visit to the hospital - which cares for patients from Horsham and Crawley as well as Surrey - following evidence the hospital was experiencing ‘higher than normal rates of hospital transmitted Covid-19 infections.’

But when the inspectors visited in March they found that Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, had “taken action to ensure that hospital-acquired Covid-19 infections were brought safely under control and there were some examples of outstanding practice.”

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In a report out this week, the commission highlighted examples of the ‘outstanding practice’ including the way in which the trust worked in partnership with local care homes at the start of the pandemic and the trust’s “proactive approach to infection prevention and control” by all staff.

East Surrey Hospital, Redhill

The trust was one of the first to commission rapid Covid testing in the accident and emergency department which ensured patients were admitted to the right place to minimise the risk of infection spreading in areas not caring for people with the virus.

Inspectors noted the ‘positive and forward-thinking approach’ to identifying patient and staff needs and praised trust chief executive Michael Wilson for his ‘commitment to sharing learning from across the NHS.’

But the report highlighted some areas for improvement, including storage issues in some wards which presented challenges for cleaning.

The report also noted the importance of ensuring past cases of healthcare associated infections were contintued to be reviewed.

The commission added that as its inspection was ‘focused’, the overall rating for the trust remained ‘Outstanding.’

Chief executive Michael Wilson said: “I am pleased that the hard work all of our staff have put into infection control has been recognised in this report. “Throughout our response to the challenges posed by this pandemic our staff have worked tirelessly, with the safety of patients always our top priority.

“The report is a fair and accurate reflection of the services at the time of the inspection; we are always keen to make improvements for our patients and we will use the feedback to continue to make our services as safe as they can be.”