Ruislip Residents' Association

Hillingdon Hospital FT

This Trust provides most of Hillingdon’s NHS hospital services, in one of its two hospitals.· Hillingdon Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department provides all emergency care, as Mount Vernon does not have an A & E Department, but most of the Trust’s elective surgery is performed at the Mount Vernon Treatment Centre.·

This page will focus on news from Hillingdon Hospital and the Trust’s Board Meetings held in public.  News of the Treatment Centre will appear on the Mount Vernon Hospital page.

Monitor ratings: The Trust maintains its financial risk rating of 3 and its green risk rating for governance -  61% of FTs are similarly rated. Monitor is currently consulting on proposed new rating criteria.

Finance issues: The Audit and Assurance Committee was advised of two debts each over £50k currently with the Trust’s collection agents, which are likely to need to be written off next quarter.  £7.1m of non-NHS income comes from rental contracts, overseas visitors, private patients, research etc.

Winter pressures: In preparation for winter pressures, in early January 66% of the Trust’s staff had received the winter ‘flu vaccine, including 72% of the Trust’s nurses and midwives.

Liverpool Care Pathway: This is recognised as a gold standard for patient centred care for dying patients, but poor application has led to media concerns.  A review will be chaired by Baroness Julia Neuberger.  Since 2006 this Trust has followed the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute’s guidance on the LCP.  It  has never received any form of financial incentive for using this pathway.

Published on 02 February 2013

Retirement of Dr Susan LaBrooy: This was Dr LaBrooy’s last Board Meeting in public.  She is leaving the Trust after 27 years service.  However she is continuing to work with NHS North West London on its “Shaping a healthier future” project and she has indicated that she would welcome an opportunity to speak to The Community Voice about that work at some point in the months ahead. 

Monitor: The Trust’s green rating for governance and three rating for finance have been confirmed by Monitor.

External inspection: The Care Quality Commission undertook an unannounced inspection of Hillingdon Hospital on 5th December.  The team visited A&E, maternity, paediatrics, the Emergency Assessment Unit, the Stroke Unit, Beaconsfield East, Hayes, Kennedy and Bevan wards.  Verbal feedback was generally positive with praise about nutrition and respect for patients – patients were very positive about their experiences.  A written report was expected shortly.

First published on 23 December 2012.  Last updated on 02 January 2013

There has been a change in leadership at Mount Vernon Hospital.   Claire Shepperd has moved on and now Jane Roy has the difficult task of pulling together all the loose ends on this very complex site.

Project 2015 is still at a preliminary stage with discussions underway between the landlords of the site, Hillingdon Hospital NHS FT, and major site tenants, the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, which is the responsibility of East & North Herts NHS Trust.  Both trusts have keen interest in future developments on the site.  The current cancer wards are very outmoded and due for replacement, but both trusts are short of cash for an inately expensive project.  However, the two trusts are talking their way through the complexities and patients simply wish them success in this very important mission.
Published on 17 December 2012

“Putting People First”: This initiative, launched by the Trust on 28th November, was attended by Board Members and top management, to emphasise the importance of improving the experience of its patients, particularly the elderly, pregnant mothers, those with dementia and those with long-term conditions.  The message, which is expected to cascade from top to bottom of the Trust, holds no surprises, only what patients have always expected – personal care responding to the patient’s needs - not only excellent treatment but also kindness, compassion and good communication.

As part of earlier initiatives the Trust has recently set up a Glaucoma User Forum, a Black Minority Ethnic Age UK Hillingdon Forum, and a Starlight Pantomime to provide a positive hospital experience for oncology children and their families.  All these will impact on the experience of patients within the Trust.

Performance: There was a steep climb in the number of admissions in October (the latest data available), with a record 71 admissions against a predicted 52, which led to Churchill and Lister Wards being temporarily re-opened.  However, overall occupied bed-days were below that of last year, despite increased volumes of activity.  During October there was a 9.3% increase in patients arriving by ambulance,  2253 compared with 2062 last October.

External inspection: The August report of the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team (ECIST), a Dept. of Health team, supported the Rapid Assessment and Triage model currently being rolled out in the Emergency Department which ensures that senior clinical decision makers see patients as soon as possible on their admission.  ECIST supported development of frail elderly services in the department as more over 75s have been admitted during the last two years.  However it identified opportunities aiming to discharge 65% of non-elective admission within two midnights or less.

Finances: The Trust has maintained its financial risk rating at 3 as required for its foundation trust status.  Higher than planned activity, with revenue increase by 4.5% compared with last October,  was almost entirely offsetting the Trust’s efficiency savings shortfall.  This was achieved with 40 fewer whole time equivalent staff.  Year to date there were 127 more births than for the same period last year, an increase of 5.3%.  However, the cumulative level of readmissions for the period increased by 3.9%, generating £1.5m of unfunded activity.

Emergency Readmissions: This is a particular issue as there is no payment to the Trust for patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge.  Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group audited the 59 such patients readmitted by the Trust in July and the Trust audited all 68 such patients.   Resultant developments already bear fruit - some  indicated below - October readmissions dropped from 13.7% last year to 7.4% in 2012.

  • A joint bid to the Integrated Care Pilot to explore early discharge support and a falls prevention service.
  • The Leaving Hospital Leaflet now advises call the GP for advice after 24 hours from discharge.
  • A&E discharge summaries are being electronically written - easier to read than hand written notes!
  • Patients thought to be within the last 12 months of life are being registered as needing special care.
  • Joint care plans are being developed for patients discharged after surgery.
  • Joint care plans are also being developed for frail elderly patients living independently at home.
Published on 02 December 2012

Retirement of Medical Director:

Dr. Susan LaBrooy is retiring in December.  Dr Richard Grocott-Mason is currently in the process of taking on her role as Medical Director.


The Risk Rating remained at 3, as required by Monitor.  Year-to-date actual performance for August was a deficit of £1,292k, which was £180k better than expected at this point in the year, but all Divisions under-delivered against their efficiency savings plans, with a year-to-date shortfall of £219k. 

Readmissions increased by 111 spells, an increase of  8.4% compared to last year.  However, in an attempt to reduce readmissions, NHS rules base maximum payment for this year's readmissions on 73% of the readmissions last year - any readmissions above that 73% have to be done without payment.  So, the actual readmissions this year have obliged the Hillingdon Hospital Trust to provide unfunded work worth £1.2m. 

Department of Health Guidance does not expect the commissioner (the Primary Care Trust or the Clinical Commissioning Group) to profit from work being done in hospital without payment - the money saved from non-payment is supposed to be invested in health services in the community.  In theory this is sensible, because readmissions to hospital often arise because care in the community is inadequate.  However, to date no evidence has been produced to show what has happened to the savings arising from non-payment for Hillingdon Hospital readmissions, and there is no evidence that it has been used to improve local community health services.  Sadly, if not ring-fenced, such "savings" can easily get "lost" in the commissioners' other financial problems.

Improving care for dementia patients:

The League of Friends and The Comforts Fund have provided new clocks in a number of wards and public areas which are easy to read and display the date and time.  Wards have devised drinking glasses for patients with different needs – green for dementia patients, as green is easy to see – red for patients who need encouragement to drink – weighted cups for patients with Parkinson's Disease

Published on 02 October 2012

New signs will soon be displayed around the Trust to display the parking concessions available to patients and visitors at both Hillingdon and Mount Vernon Hospitals,  These are:
  • Free 20 minute drop off points 
  • Free parking for disabled Blue Badge holders in either designated disabled parking spaces or if these are not available in general parking spaces
  • Weekly parking permits for £12
  • Monthly parking permits for £25 • Parking for cancer patients at £1 a day
  • Patients who have arrived for their outpatient appointment to find it has been cancelled are entitled to free exit
In addition to the current concessions the Trust has also agreed to look favourably upon occasions which result in people paying a higher tariff, or receive a parking ticket following delays in discharge and outpatient appointments, outside of their control.

The hospital’s Parking Offices are situated at:
        Security Room at Hillingdon Hospital
        Main reception at Mount Vernon Hospital
Published on 06 September 2012


Financial performance for July was a surplus of £548k, £121k behind plan leading to a year-to-date deficit of £58k, £5k behind plan.

Births and day cases year-to-date were significantly higher than last year, outpatient and A&E attendances showed steady growth, but emergency admissions marginally reduced, particularly for short-stay patients.

The Trust has won contracts for community ophthalmology services in Hillingdon worth £2.2m over five years and for community pathology work in Hounslow valued at £6m over three years.

New catering and cleaning contracts:

Four nationally established catering providers are tendering to provide patients’ meals for the Trust.  Food tasting sessions were held on August 24th with evaluation by members of the Board, Trust Governors, patient groups, nursing staff, dieticians and infection control staff .  Evaluation scoring was based 45% on financial criteria, with 55% covering menu composition, nutritional analysis, tasting, packaging, safety and hygiene, and sustainability factors.

The retail catering consultant appointed in June has been working with the existing restaurant managers and teams to develop proposals on pricing, product range and restaurant layout.  To support this work a survey was undertaken of user views and the results are being analysed.

An event is being planned for staff and public involvement representatives in September to review the current cleaning service provision.

Sodexo staff briefings in August were very well attended and there appears to be good support for the transfer to the Trust.  There is also good support from the unions.  The new design  of uniforms for the transferring staff was well received.  So, the project is on track with wide engagement of  staff and stakeholders.

New method of assessing patients in A&E:

Starting as a trial on 22nd August, the Trust has introduced a new method of rapid assessment and treatment.  Every patient arriving in the majors area of the A&E Department will be seen by a senior medical officer on arrival, instead of being seen by a nurse.

London Ambulance Service pilot scheme for mental health patients:

The Trust is working with LAS on a scheme to screen  mental health patients to identify alternate care provision outside the acute setting


Trust Open Day:

In place of its Annual Members Meeting, the Trust is holding its first Open Day on Monday 24th September 2012 at Hillingdon Hospital, from 2pm – 5pm  followed by presentations in the Lecture Theatre and an evening session  where visitors can meet the Governors  and hear presentations from the Chief Executive and Finance Director.  The Open Day will showcase many areas including its Emergency Department redevelopment, Maternity, Rapid Recovery, The NHS NW London proposals for  “Shaping a Healthier Future”, Capital Investment Schemes, Infection Control, Recruitment, and CARES – its new culture and values initiative.

Published on 04 September 2012

Hillingdon Hospital’s emergency care reconfiguration: The Outline Business Case will be presented in July.  Existing equipment will be transferred where possible and a review is in progress to identify what else is needed.  The needs of wheel chair users are being identified, also the needs of hard of hearing and sight impaired patients.

Cleaning and catering contracts: The exit of Sodexo from Hillingdon and Mount Vernon hospitals is underway.  Four nationally established catering providers have expressed interest in tendering for the new catering contract, which is likely to be awarded in September, but in-house catering staff will provide breakfasts, snacks and beverages.  The cleaning contract ends on 31st October and a seamless transition is being planned.  The changes will be monitored and evaluated after six months and a year.

Ambulance arrivals: There was an increase of 7% in arrivals at Hillingdon Hospital between March and May 2012, believe triggered by the new 111 ‘phone advice service. Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has reported a 17% increase in ambulance arrivals since the 111 service was introduced there.

Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR): For the year to March 2012, Hillingdon Hospitals overall HSMR remained below the national average, and no specialty area had higher than expected mortality rates. The Trust ranked 83rd out of 147 national NHS trusts.  An alternative evaluation, the Standardised Hospital Mortality Index (SHMI), includes  in-patients receiving palliative care and those who die within 30 days of discharge.  The Trust’s current SHMI value remains significantly below the national average, comparable to local peers and within the upper quartile nationally.

 New website: The new public website takes account of the needs of people who view it from mobile ‘phones.  It includes sections on “Trust Performance” and “Patient Safety”.

“Care Campaign”: The Trust has signed up to the Nurse Standard and Patients Association “Care Campaign”,  which recognises four fundamental aspects of care:

  • C                        communicate with compassion
  • A                        assist with toileting, ensuring dignity
  • R                        relieve pain effectively
  • E                        encourage adequate nutrition

The aim is for nurses to observe the CARE list and for patients to use it to challenge poor care.

Board Members’ monthly unannounced visits to Wards: The fifth “Ward to Board” visits were to Alexandra Ward and Katherine Ward, which led to minor suggestions for improvements.

Published on 01 July 2012
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