This year, our Annual General Meeting (AGM) & Annual Members’ Meeting was held on Monday 25 September.
Thank you to those who attended. We look forward to sharing details of our next AGM and Annual Members’ Meeting, soon.
Questions received in advance of our AGM
Given the declining number of car parking spaces for patients particularly the disabled can something be done urgently to improve the car parking at Kingston Hospital?
Like many other NHS hospitals, parking at Kingston Hospital for patients and staff is limited. Whilst we encourage the use of public transport where possible, we do appreciate that some people have no option but to drive to the hospital and we understand concerns about parking space numbers.
We are committed to ensuring we provide sufficient car parking spaces for blue badge holders, and although disabled parking spaces on the hospital site are moved from time to time, the overall number has not been reduced. In 2011 we had a total of 30 disabled parking spaces, in 2016 we had 31 disabled spaces, and this year we have 32 disabled spaces. We do currently have 7 spaces which are out of commission due to building works at our Royal Eye Unit, however these spaces will be back in operation later this year.
It is currently taking five weeks to process patient travelling expenses claims via the Cashier. Could a system be introduced where payments are made on the day of your appointment or within seven working days by BACS?
The move away from cash payments, during and since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the transfer over to a new financial system at the Trust, has unfortunately added to the time taken to process patient travel claims and for this we are sorry.
However, we have recently developed a new process, effective from 1st October, whereby claims will be processed within 5 working days and payments made via bank transfer. We hope to see a significant improvement in our response times on the back of this.
There has been quite a bit in the news recently about giving birth and the trauma of difficult births. Could you tell us about how we are doing more to reassure first time mums and raise standards of safety and care at Kingston Maternity? Do we have a patient satisfaction audit?
We are extremely proud of our maternity services here at Kingston Hospital. Our maternity service users are invited to rate their antenatal care, experience of labour and birth, and postnatal care, in the Care Quality Commission’s annual National Maternity Survey. In the 2022 survey, the findings of which were published in January this year, Kingston Hospital’s maternity service was placed in the top five maternity units in London. You can read more about this here. Our maternity unit and our neonatal unit have also been awarded Baby Friendly Awards from the UK Committee for UNICEF.
Our website contains a range of information and resources for first time mums, which is regularly updated, and our maternity team run regular workshops for those that are expecting a baby.
Staff in our maternity services are committed to delivering a high standard of care to local women and their families, and we have a rolling programme of audit and improvement in place to ensure we continually improve and sustain the standards of safe and compassionate care that women receive at Kingston Hospital. We also work closely with our Maternity Voices Partnership who share feedback with us from women using our services and this is fed into all of our decision-making in the service.
It is one of the Prime Ministers priorities to reduce waiting lists. How long is our waiting list for Kingston Hospital ? How does this compare with the national average? And the London average? Has it been impacted by strikes at Kingston Hospital? What measures are we taking to reduce it? How able are we taking advantage of the new technology virtual home monitoring kits which allow patients to convalesce from home while data on their blood pressure etc can be transmitted safely to the department supervising their care?
There are long waits for treatment in the NHS due to the backlog built up during the pandemic, and to the increase in referrals that the NHS has seen subsequently. Kingston Hospital has shorter waits than the national average and is undertaking 15% more elective inpatient/day case and outpatient work that it did in 2019/20. As a result, the Trust has recently been recognised as the top performing Trust in London.
Industrial action has impacted the capacity of the Trust to reduce waits further as senior clinicians have been directed to support emergency pathways and planned appointments and procedures have been rescheduled for some of our patients. Our teams however are working exceptionally hard to recover as much activity as possible through weekend working and excellent utilisation of our clinics and theatre lists. Our virtual ward, which allows patients to be remotely monitored in their own homes is now well established and work is progressing to step some patients up to the virtual ward from the community in order to avoid the need for a hospital admission.
What strikes have we had at Kingston hospital? Doctors and Junior doctors have been concerned about many factors (as well as pay) including stress, resourcing gaps, rotas, technology, working conditions and more. Can you tell us how we monitor our staff well being and mental health and job satisfaction? Can you tell us what we are doing at Kingston Hospital to improve working conditions for our doctors and nurses and ease the stress they are under?
At Kingston Hospital we have been, and continue to be, impacted by strikes with consultants and junior doctors involved in national industrial action. The health and wellbeing of all our staff is one of our key priorities and we have a whole team dedicated to staff health and wellbeing projects, and a steering group which guides all our work in this important area.
We provide our staff with access to specialist psychological support, free exercise classes, support with cost of living pressures and access to a wide range of resources which are constantly being developed. All of this is monitored through our regular staff surveys, engagement events, and walkabouts, which help to shape the health and wellbeing provision that we provide.