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Royal Free Hospital given glowing report by regulators

09:00 11 April 2014

Royal Free Hospital

Royal Free Hospital

Nigel Sutton

The trust running the Royal Free Hospital has been given a glowing report by national regular the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The hospital, in Pond Street, passed all five key CQC indicators, covering patient care, staffing and management, and was praised for providing “compassionate care” in a “clean, hygienic environment”.

The Royal Free treats about 700,000 patients a year and a recent survey found 85 per cent of A&E patients and 83 per cent of 
in-patients are likely, or extremely likely, to recommend services to friends and family.

But a number of challenges remain at the hospital. It is still struggling to meets targets set on clostridium difficile (C-diff) infection rates – a superbug that can affect the digestive system and most commonly affects people staying in hospital.

Over the past year, the Royal Free has recorded 32 infections and if it records two more this month it will exceed its own target. It has already received a warning from health regulator Monitor on surpassing quarterly targets.

Another report released by NHS England last Thursday also found the hospital was failing to reach a number of key staffing targets in its maternity department. But in critical care it was the only hospital in the country to pass all key indicators.

A Royal Free spokesman said: “We are delighted that the Royal Free passed all five of the CQC’s indicators following a routine inspection of our services.

“This is the result of the hard work of staff throughout the organisation and we aim to continue maintaining our high standards of care.

“However, we realise there are areas for improvement.

“Although we exceed the number of hours of maternity consultant cover recommended, we recognise there is room for improvement.

“We have also significantly improved our C-diff performance and the CQC no longer considers this indicator to be a risk.”

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