CQC reports on diagnostic imaging service at The Royal London Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published reports on the diagnostic imaging service at The Royal London Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital, following inspections in May 2021. 

Whipps Cross has now been rated as inadequate in the safe and well-led domain with an overall rating of inadequate for the diagnostic imaging service. The Royal London Hospital will be rated at a later date when it has been assessed under the new diagnostic imaging service. 

The CQC spoke to 27 members of staff during the inspection and found that imaging areas were not meeting the Trust’s target for the completion of mandatory training. The report stated that managers had installed a new system that supported equal access for specialist training, but it needed more time to affect the level of mandatory training.  

The imaging service received positive feedback when addressing cleanliness, hygiene, and infection control at the hospital. The report said: “Staff followed infection control principles including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Staff cleaned equipment after patient contact and labelled equipment to show when it was last cleaned.” 

Dame Alwen Williams, DBE, Group Chief Executive of Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “We will be ensuring staff have the resources to sustain improvements we need to make and there is appropriate oversight and processes in place for escalating wellbeing issues. We have a responsibility to listen to what our hard working team are saying, and respond appropriately and sensitively.    

“It is also concerning to hear that some staff have had experience of bullying, harassment and sexism. This is unacceptable and we are committed to eliminating discrimination, ensuring equality of opportunity and promoting good relations between all people. We are continuing to investigate every complaint made.  

“Our imaging service is an important service for our local residents and we are accelerating our efforts to make lasting change happen more quickly.” 

Staffing concerns were raised in the report: “Managers could not always calculate the number of staff needed for each shift in accordance with national guidance. Staff were still on 9 to 5 contracts and not compliant with the current pay and conditions structure for the NHS.” 

Overall, for the diagnostic imaging services, when it came to safety, the CQC’s verdict was “inadequate.”