My local hospital is Frimley Park Hospital. I am a member of Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and I attended a meeting last Tuesday. At this meeting, the membership manager went through what has been happening in the hospital lately.
Frimley Park Hospital’s catchment area contains a population of over 400,000 which the hospital treats. In a year there are approximately 100,000 A&E attendances and 327,000 outpatient attendances. Also there are over 5000 births a year. In addition to the main hospital site at Frimley, it runs outpatient and diagnostic services, bringing a range of services closer to communities. Frimley Park Hospital’s mortality rates are in the best 10% in the UK and Dr Foster’s Health Guide has named it as one of the most recommended hospitals in the UK.
Frimley Park Hospital has a £3.5m Cardiac Centre and is recognised as the regional centre for vascular care. A midwife-led unit for lower-risk births is being developed. There is a £750k upgrade to Elderly Care wards happening at the moment and the hospital is about to invest in a second CT scanner. A £22m emergency department and day surgery unit with a helicopter landing pad has recently been built.
Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts ensures that “foundation trusts are well-led, that their leaders are focused on the quality of care patients get and that they are financially strong.” They look particularly at “whether they are meeting the required quality standards, as judged by the Care Quality Commission, and at the trust’s financial strength.” For governance, monitor has rated Frimley Park Hospital green, for all departments, which is the highest rating. For finance, the hospital is rated 5 for four sections and 4 for one section (5 being the lowest risk).
At the meeting I found out about some of the problems the hospital has had and how they are dealing with them. A lot of money is wasted by people who don’t attend their appointments (also known as ‘DNA’s – ‘did not attend’s). Mostly this happens with young parents who make an appointment for their child, then later decide that their child is healthy so instead of cancelling the appointment, they just don’t attend.
Frimley Park Hospital now texts patients, with consent, to remind them of their appointments. In some special cases, they remind the patients by calling them. However, this is costly in money and time so cannot be done for many patients. The national average of ‘DNA’s is 8.9%. Frimley Park Hospital has less at 6.9%, but we want to get this down to 6.2 %. The hospital asks patients to contact them at least 24 hours before their appointment if they can’t attend, so that the slot can be given to someone else. I suggested that they advertise the problem in the hospital, for example have a poster on the wall saying “X patients have not turned up this month for their appointments, costing out hospital £Y”.
For more information about Frimley Park Hospital, go to http://www.frimleypark.nhs.uk/