One of Kent’s biggest health providers has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Care Quality Commission inspectors.
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, which has its headquarters in Hermitage Lane, Barming, Maidstone, employs more than 5,000 staff and looks after patients in eight community hospitals across the county. It also runs six minor injury units.
The new rating, announced today (Wednesday), puts it in the top three community trusts in England. It is one of only 23 provider trusts to be rated ‘outstanding’ across England and it is the only community trust in the south-east to be ‘outstanding’.
It was previously rated ‘good’.
Chief executive Paul Bentley said today: “I am delighted and extraordinarily proud that we have been rated ‘outstanding.’ Every day, our teams come to work and deliver our values – caring, aspirational, responsive and excellent – making sure every person we serve has the best possible care. The CQC’s report reflects this commitment.”
He added: “I am particularly proud of the way the CQC witnessed how caring our staff are and the strong and authentic culture that we have of valuing our workforce.”
“I am also very proud of the trust going from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ in a system as challenged as Kent and Medway. I believe the leadership of the board is reflected in the rating.’’
The CQC rates NHS trusts under five headings: safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led. KCHFT was rated as ‘outstanding’ in effective and caring and as ‘good’ in safe, responsive and well-led.
This inspection in April and May covered four of seven core services: sexual health, urgent and emergency care, community dental services and end-of-life care.
The CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals Dr Nigel Acheson said: “The trust’s determination to develop a patient-centred culture has improved services. This has ensured that the overall rating has moved to ‘outstanding.’
“Staff spoke positively about the patient journey and the striving for continual improvement. This was especially clear in urgent care and sexual health which were both rated as ‘outstanding.’ Community dental services also improved and are now rated as ‘good.’ Staff worked as a team in a coordinated way for the patients’ best interests.
“Patients were respected and valued as individuals.”