Inspectors rate private hospital as ‘inadequate’

A private hospital has been rated inadequate overall by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and told it must make a number of improvements.

The watchdog carried out an unannounced comprehensive inspection of the Hollanden Park Hospital in Hildenborough, Kent – previously known as The Raphael Hospital – in September 2021. This was the first inspection of the service after it opened under a new provider, the Renovo Care Group, in October 2020.

Following the inspection, the hospital received the following ratings:

  • Inadequate overall;
  • Inadequate for being safe, effective and well-led;
  • Requires improvement for caring and responsive.

Hollanden Park Hospital is an independent specialist service which provides assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of adults with neurological conditions, including acquired brain injury and progressive neurological disorders.

Amanda Williams, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: When we inspected Hollanden Park Hospital, we were concerned to find that the leadership team didn’t have complete oversight of all the issues the service was facing, and they were not taking timely action to resolve them.

‘Data collected by the hospital was not always reliable enough to monitor performance, identify areas of concern and make improvements.

‘Staff did not always complete risk assessments for each patient in a prompt manner. They did not always act to remove or minimise risks or update the assessments when risks changed. 

Long gaps

‘It was also very worrying to find that patient records showed that there were long gaps when people didn’t receive food and drink. Some patients were unable to feed themselves so were reliant on staff to ensure that their nutritional and hydration needs were being met, yet staff were not always following recommendations made by the dietician.’

She said the provider had been told it must now make a number of improvements to the service. It will be monitored on its progress and the CQC will return to check these have been made.

Inspectors found the following during this inspection:

The service did not operate effective governance systems to enable them to improve the quality of services.

Not all staff had completed their mandatory training and there was a low compliance rate in key modules, including safeguarding and life support training.

Staff did not keep detailed records of patients’ care and treatment. Records were not always clear, up-to-date or reflective of the care provided.

Incidents were not always effectively investigated to reduce the risk of potential harm from similar or repeated incidents. Not all staff were able to describe what lessons were learnt from the incidents they reported. They were not aware of any changes to practice to prevent incidents from happening again.

Staff did not routinely involve patients and their families in making decisions about their care and they did not always follow national guidance to gain a patient’s consent before providing care.

The premises and equipment did not always keep people safe. Clinical waste was not managed well.

The CQC said however that:

Staff knew the patients they were caring for, including their preferences and medical histories, and treated people with dignity and respect;

Staff provided patients with timely care to minimise their distress. Patients were assessed for pain regularly and received pain relief in a timely way.