A new report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has identified examples of outstanding practice and staff feeling ‘respected, supported and valued’ following an inspection of infection control at East Surrey Hospital.

Inspectors visited the Redhill hospital, which is run by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH), at the end of March 2021. They carried out a focussed inspection of infection prevention and control procedures while also reviewing data, notes and undertaking interviews.

East Surrey Hospital main entrance.JPG
East Surrey Hospital

Inspectors praised staff at all levels of the organisation, saying they “were clear about their role and accountabilities regarding infection prevention and control and had regular opportunities to meet, discuss and learn from the performance of the service”. Trust leaders were also found to be “highly visible and approachable in the service for patients and staff.”

The report highlights three areas of outstanding practice, including the way in which SASH worked in partnership with local care homes to aid training and understanding at the start of the pandemic. Other outstanding practice recorded includes the proactive approach to infection prevention and control demonstrated from floor to board. SASH was one of the first trusts to commission rapid COVID testing in the accident and emergency department which helps make sure patients are 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 the needs of patients and staff, with the Trust’s chief executive demonstrating a commitment to sharing learning from across the NHS.

The report highlights some areas to help improve the service further, including noting storage issues in some wards which presented challenges for cleaning. The report also notes the importance of ensuring past cases of healthcare associated infections continue to be reviewed.

Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “I am pleased that the hard work all of our staff have put in to 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.”

As this was a focussed inspection on infection control, it does not impact on the current overall rating of the Trust, so Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust remains rated ‘Outstanding’.

The full report is on the CQC website