Top CQC award for HCA centre with no waiting list

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) ‘outstanding’ rating for The Wellington Hospital Elstree Waterfront Outpatients and Diagnostics Centre brings HCA Healthcare UK up to 16 top ratings, a higher proportion than any other private hospital group.

Examples of outstanding practice highlighted by the quality watchdog include no waiting list for outpatients. Rapid-access care pathways meant patients see a consultant and undergo diagnostic testing and treatment on the same day.

The centre, serving the town and the surrounding area of Hertfordshire and north London, provides same-day appointments for diagnostic tests and scans including MRI, ultrasound, X-ray and private GP appointments. 

Consultants from a wide range of specialties include those in orthopaedics, gastroenterology, cardiology, neurosurgery, spinal, women’s health and paediatrics.

Other examples of outstanding practice cited by the CQC include:

  • Since January 2022, 98% of children were seen within 15 minutes of arrival;
  • Provision of an on-demand blood testing service, including immediate collections for urgent requests and results provided within 24 hours; 
  • The ENT suite provided clinicians with rapid access to micro-suction and nasopharyngoscopy, reducing the need for repeat visits or delayed treatment;
  • Staff took a pro-active approach to understanding the needs and preferences of different patient groups;
  • The centre is also well-led with leaders who understand and manage priorities and are visible and approachable for patients.

The CQC praised the centre’s doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals that ‘worked together as a team to benefit patients’. 

Staff were found to work across health care disciplines and with other agencies when required to care for patients, and multidisciplinary working was a fundamental aspect of the service and underpinned all elements of care. They also held regular and effective multidisciplinary meetings to discuss patients and improve their care.

Staff well-being

The CQC also highlighted the importance placed on both staff and patient mental health and well-being, praising the centre’s implementation of a mental health champion programme as a part of a wider well-being strategy. 

It said: ‘The wider ethos of HCA UK was also found to be running through the centre.’ The CQC noted ‘there was a strong record of sharing work locally, nationally and internationally’, with a drive to participate in research, ultimately benefitting patients through evidence-based care.

Eric Reichle

HCA Healthcare UK has a higher proportion of CQC ‘Outstanding’ ratings than any other private hospital group in the UK, with the addition of The Wellington Hospital Elstree Waterfront Centre resulting in a total of 16 ‘Outstanding’ locations and 15 ‘Good’ locations’.

Eric Reichle, CEO of The Wellington Hospital Elstree Waterfront, said: ‘This rating is testament to our approach of looking after our patients and staff alike, as well as our continued commitment to providing the very best care for our patients.’