A report on Croydon Health Service Trust’s Annual General Meeting

By - Tuesday 25th October, 2016

Keithanthony Taylor encourages all Croydonians to spread the good word about our local hospital

Croydon Hospital Reception

Photo author’s own.

Croydon’s community rallied on Wednesday 7th September 2016 for a very successful AGM at Croydon University Hospital, hosted and delivered by John Goulston, its CEO, and Mike Bell, its Chairman.

John Goulston and Mike Bell reminded us that the first time the AGM was opened to the public four years ago we had only around ten people in attendance. This meeting attracted around 100 members of staff and members of the community, showing that many more local people are now involved and that we all now love our hospital.

There were many guest speakers talking about the work of their departments; they all spoke in terms of progress. Staff, volunteers, and patients too have all worked tirelessly to deliver the vision and can be proud that Croydon University Hospital is now at or near the top of the league. Knowing this, I believe it is important to stem the residual negativity which still surrounds CUH by those ill-informed of the high standards now attained there. So I encourage you all to spread the good news.

“I’m gobsmacked by how much better this hospital is than it was before”

We can be proud and we can tell our friends that we live in a borough with one of the best and most successful hospitals in this country. I’m certainly saying a big ‘well done’ to Croydon University Hospital. I have seen it from outside, from inside, I’ve volunteered in hospital radio, I’ve sat in many Trust meetings, and I’ve been an emergency case receiving CPR. Thank you, CUH, well done, you are go for business. You are looking good!

The performance data for 2015-16 is strong: 82% of patients now wait less than an hour in the discharge lounge when they go home after a hospital stay. Nine out of ten patients would recommend the hospital to their families and friends. 280 more doctors, nurses and therapists have been employed there since 2012/13.

The hospital’s staff feel empowered: 75% of our staff feel able to contribute to improvements at work. Their efforts are paying off: with in-hospital cardiac arrests reduced by 44% since 2013/14. All cancer treatment waiting times are met, and complaints have falled by 15% since 2014/15. In a clear indication of direction in which the hospital is heading, one patient quoted in its inspection report (published October 2015) said that they were “gobsmacked at how much better it is than before”.

Caring for London’s largest borough means that we are much more than just a local hospital

Overall, the Trust was rated as ‘requires improvement’, but we are already well on the way to addressing the areas raised. The inspection report praised thirteen areas of outstanding practice, including our special care baby unit and the specialist palliative care team for the support provided in the last days or hours of life. The inspectors also rated the Trust as ‘good’ for caring and effective services. All of this is to the credit of our staff.

We have invested in our services, most notably to deliver improved unplanned and emergency care, 7-days a week. The hospital’s new one stop unit for rapid medical treatment, without having to wait in A&E, is called the Edgecombe Unit. It has substantially eased the pressure in the Emergency Department, reduced waiting times for patients and is helping to free up bed capacity to care for patients who need a hospital stay. The Trust has also begun another major project to improve its A&E performance: the building of a new £21.25m Emergency Department which will open in 2017.

Waiting to treat people when they get ill is not the answer

Our greatest challenge over the past year has remained our financial deficit. Throughout the year, the Trust spent more than planned to deliver services and meet rising demand. Like the rest of the NHS, we must make the funding we have go further by being more efficient and minimising waste but we must do this in a planned way, without compromising our quality of care.

But waiting to treat people when they get ill is not the answer. AS an NHS Trust, we need to change and grow with our community and respond to what Croydon citizens tell us. That means doing more to keep people well and preventing ill-health, in addition to providing clinical treatment expertise and care when and where it is needed.

Working with Croydon Council, Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group and other local care providers, we have formed a new alliance to transform the care available for older people and join-up health and social care services in our community. We are on a journey of continued collaboration in Croydon. We will not only be there when you need us, but working together, we can keep you well for longer.

Keithanthony Taylor

Keithanthony Taylor

Keithanthony has lived in Croydon for 34 years and hosts weekly Radio interviews on an Atlanta Georgia Soul/Reggae show, Broadcasts Local Hospital Radio and Radio Mayday at Croydon Hospital. He also practices a as a Master Hypnotist having formed an interest aged 12. He also has worked as a designer in electronics & aviation, as a sales trainer for Encyclopedia Britannica, in the life and pensions industry, Private Ambulance Service, car & motorcycle instructor, even Golf Club bar man.

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  • Mike Sutton

    This is an example of the brilliant work that is going on within the NHS! John Goulston, Jayne Black and the clinical leaders within this Trust should feel proud for the work they have done so far. The key challenge for us as Croydonites is moving away from the mindset of waiting to treat the sick and actually moving towards prevention of illness in the first place. This requires a culture shift on a larger scale, which I believe is achievable…