England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals is asking the public to tell his inspection panel what they thinks of the services that are provided by Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot.
Their views and experiences will help inspectors decide what areas to look at when they inspect the hospital next month.
To ensure the views of Heatherwood from both patients and the community are properly heard, the inspectors will be holding a “listening event” at Jagz in Station Hill, Ascot, on Tues-day, February 4, at 6.30pm.
People can learn more about the inspection process, tell the team about their experiences of care and recommend improvements.
The Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which operates both Heatherwood and Wexham Park in Slough, is one of the first to be inspected and given an overall rating under radical changes introduced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Similar to the Ofsted ratings, it will be given a grading of either outstanding, good, requiring improvement or inadequate.
The chief inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, announced last year that he will lead significantly larger inspection teams than before, including clinical and other experts and trained members of the public.
The inspection team is expected to look at eight key service areas – accident and emergency; medical care, including the frail and elderly; surgery; intensive and critical care; maternity; paediatrics and children’s care; end of life care; and outpatients.
The formal inspection of both hospitals will start on Tuesday, February 11.
Sir Mike said: “The new inspections are designed to provide people with a clear picture of the quality of the services in their local hospital, exposing poor or mediocre care as well as highlighting the many hospitals providing good and excellent care. We know there is too much variation in quality – these new in-depth inspections will allow us to get a much more detailed picture of care in hospitals than ever before.
“Of course we will be talking to doctors and nurses, hospital managers and patients in the hospital.
“But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have had care at Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, or anyone who wants to share information with us.
“This is your opportunity to tell me and my team what you think, and make a difference to the NHS services in the local area.”