Ruislip Residents' Association

Hillingdon Hospital FT

This Trust provides most of Hillingdon’s NHS hospital services, in one of its two hospitals.· Hillingdon Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department provides all emergency care, as Mount Vernon does not have an A & E Department, but most of the Trust’s elective surgery is performed at the Mount Vernon Treatment Centre.·

This page will focus on news from Hillingdon Hospital and the Trust’s Board Meetings held in public.  News of the Treatment Centre will appear on the Mount Vernon Hospital page.

New signs will soon be displayed around the Trust to display the parking concessions available to patients and visitors at both Hillingdon and Mount Vernon Hospitals,  These are:
  • Free 20 minute drop off points 
  • Free parking for disabled Blue Badge holders in either designated disabled parking spaces or if these are not available in general parking spaces
  • Weekly parking permits for £12
  • Monthly parking permits for £25 • Parking for cancer patients at £1 a day
  • Patients who have arrived for their outpatient appointment to find it has been cancelled are entitled to free exit
In addition to the current concessions the Trust has also agreed to look favourably upon occasions which result in people paying a higher tariff, or receive a parking ticket following delays in discharge and outpatient appointments, outside of their control.

The hospital’s Parking Offices are situated at:
        Security Room at Hillingdon Hospital
        Main reception at Mount Vernon Hospital
Published on 06 September 2012


Financial performance for July was a surplus of £548k, £121k behind plan leading to a year-to-date deficit of £58k, £5k behind plan.

Births and day cases year-to-date were significantly higher than last year, outpatient and A&E attendances showed steady growth, but emergency admissions marginally reduced, particularly for short-stay patients.

The Trust has won contracts for community ophthalmology services in Hillingdon worth £2.2m over five years and for community pathology work in Hounslow valued at £6m over three years.

New catering and cleaning contracts:

Four nationally established catering providers are tendering to provide patients’ meals for the Trust.  Food tasting sessions were held on August 24th with evaluation by members of the Board, Trust Governors, patient groups, nursing staff, dieticians and infection control staff .  Evaluation scoring was based 45% on financial criteria, with 55% covering menu composition, nutritional analysis, tasting, packaging, safety and hygiene, and sustainability factors.

The retail catering consultant appointed in June has been working with the existing restaurant managers and teams to develop proposals on pricing, product range and restaurant layout.  To support this work a survey was undertaken of user views and the results are being analysed.

An event is being planned for staff and public involvement representatives in September to review the current cleaning service provision.

Sodexo staff briefings in August were very well attended and there appears to be good support for the transfer to the Trust.  There is also good support from the unions.  The new design  of uniforms for the transferring staff was well received.  So, the project is on track with wide engagement of  staff and stakeholders.

New method of assessing patients in A&E:

Starting as a trial on 22nd August, the Trust has introduced a new method of rapid assessment and treatment.  Every patient arriving in the majors area of the A&E Department will be seen by a senior medical officer on arrival, instead of being seen by a nurse.

London Ambulance Service pilot scheme for mental health patients:

The Trust is working with LAS on a scheme to screen  mental health patients to identify alternate care provision outside the acute setting


Trust Open Day:

In place of its Annual Members Meeting, the Trust is holding its first Open Day on Monday 24th September 2012 at Hillingdon Hospital, from 2pm – 5pm  followed by presentations in the Lecture Theatre and an evening session  where visitors can meet the Governors  and hear presentations from the Chief Executive and Finance Director.  The Open Day will showcase many areas including its Emergency Department redevelopment, Maternity, Rapid Recovery, The NHS NW London proposals for  “Shaping a Healthier Future”, Capital Investment Schemes, Infection Control, Recruitment, and CARES – its new culture and values initiative.

Published on 04 September 2012

Hillingdon Hospital’s emergency care reconfiguration: The Outline Business Case will be presented in July.  Existing equipment will be transferred where possible and a review is in progress to identify what else is needed.  The needs of wheel chair users are being identified, also the needs of hard of hearing and sight impaired patients.

Cleaning and catering contracts: The exit of Sodexo from Hillingdon and Mount Vernon hospitals is underway.  Four nationally established catering providers have expressed interest in tendering for the new catering contract, which is likely to be awarded in September, but in-house catering staff will provide breakfasts, snacks and beverages.  The cleaning contract ends on 31st October and a seamless transition is being planned.  The changes will be monitored and evaluated after six months and a year.

Ambulance arrivals: There was an increase of 7% in arrivals at Hillingdon Hospital between March and May 2012, believe triggered by the new 111 ‘phone advice service. Croydon Health Services NHS Trust has reported a 17% increase in ambulance arrivals since the 111 service was introduced there.

Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR): For the year to March 2012, Hillingdon Hospitals overall HSMR remained below the national average, and no specialty area had higher than expected mortality rates. The Trust ranked 83rd out of 147 national NHS trusts.  An alternative evaluation, the Standardised Hospital Mortality Index (SHMI), includes  in-patients receiving palliative care and those who die within 30 days of discharge.  The Trust’s current SHMI value remains significantly below the national average, comparable to local peers and within the upper quartile nationally.

 New website: The new public website takes account of the needs of people who view it from mobile ‘phones.  It includes sections on “Trust Performance” and “Patient Safety”.

“Care Campaign”: The Trust has signed up to the Nurse Standard and Patients Association “Care Campaign”,  which recognises four fundamental aspects of care:

  • C                        communicate with compassion
  • A                        assist with toileting, ensuring dignity
  • R                        relieve pain effectively
  • E                        encourage adequate nutrition

The aim is for nurses to observe the CARE list and for patients to use it to challenge poor care.

Board Members’ monthly unannounced visits to Wards: The fifth “Ward to Board” visits were to Alexandra Ward and Katherine Ward, which led to minor suggestions for improvements.

Published on 01 July 2012

New Admissions Unit: The Emergency Care Project is progressing with £12.36m from the Dept of Health.  This includes reconfiguration of the A&E Department, a new Urgent Care Centre and an adjacent Admissions Ward with 45 to 50 bed, which will allow some patients to bypass A&E with direct admission to an acute medical bed.  The paediatric area will be redesigned and Endoscopy will be relocated.  Improvement is expected in patient admission, diagnosis and discharge.

Cleaning and Catering contracts: The Board will bring these services in-house when the Sodexho contract ends on 31st October 2012.  This is expected to be more cost effective, with cleaning / catering staff more integrated in the hospital teams.   The current contract for provision of ready-made patient meals is being market tested, to ensure best value and high quality.

Published on 29 April 2012

Finances: At the end of February the Trust’s financial risk rating remained at 3 and all the other financial requirements of the Trust’s terms of authorisation were being met.  Financial performance for the month was a deficit of £143k, matching the original plan, despite efficiency savings being below planned levels and clinical revenue still being heavily suppressed due to local commissioning caps.  The year-end targets are still achievable but are extremely challenging.  The non-cash revenue gain of £1.3m from the donation of the Postgraduate Education Centre to the Trust from the charity that built and ran it will be accounted for in March 2012.

Bed occupancy: Winter plans based on previous experience expected a peak demand in January but this was delayed until February and early March – a mild winter and low levels of ‘flu contributed to the reduced demand in January, which was echoed in neighbouring trusts.  Increased demand later led to no elective cancellations  despite increased admissions.  Continued focus on discharge planning and reduced admissions has facilitated the closure of Grange Ward.

Published on 04 April 2012


Chief Executive:

David McVittie is leaving the Trust after eleven successful years in post, during which time the Trust has moved from financial deficit to a consistent record of balancing its books, and from an abysmal mortality rate to a position in the top quartile in the country, as well as becoming a national leader in a number of new clinical procedures.  The Community Voice, of which RRA is a member, recorded its thanks to him for his work at Hillingdon Hospital in the message book that was presented to him as part of his farewell party on 29th February.

The good news is that David McVittie is not moving far.  He is going to Northwick Park Hospital as Transition Director and Chief Executive Designate for the proposed merger of North West London Hospital NHS Trust with Ealing Hospital NHS Trust. Many Ruislip people are Northwick Park patients so it is reassuring that this hospital is to be led by a known and locally respected new leader.  He has already said that he looks forward to visiting The Community Voice in his new role, when he has had time to assess his new responsibilities.

Shane Degaris, Deputy Chief Executive,  will act as Chief Executive of the Hillingdon Hospital Trust until that post is filled, which is expected to be in several months’ time.


The Trust has had 24 cases of clostridium difficile year to 29th February, which is within target, but there is no complacency as infections can arise suddenly.

Caesarean rate:

At 30.34% there was a small rise in the caesarean rate in January, which was disappointing as the rate remains above its target of <27%.


Financial performance for the month was a surplus of £49k, £121k behind the original plan.  Overseas visitor income was lower than expected.

The year to date deficit was reduced to £1,069k.

In addition to the grant of £1.2m from the Department of Health from its Access Initiative Fund, the Trust has secured a capital bid of £12.4m to reconfigure the A&E department, which is most welcome.

However, clinical revenue is still heavily suppressed due to the increasing impact of local commissioning caps.  This continues to be a significant issue impacting on the Trust’s short and long-term financial viability.  As at January 2012 the Trust has raised over-performance invoices of £2.1m with North West London Commissioners for quarters 1 to 3.

Savings remain on course to achieve at least the minimum required for the Trust to achieve its re-forecast year-end income and expenditure position, which is extremely challenging but still achievable.

The total cost of discretionary pay reduced from a monthly 20/22 average of £237k to £189k and the total cost of monthly agency pay fell from £186k to £116k.

The Trust’s financial risk rating remained at 3. and all other financial requirement’s of the Trust’s authorisation were being met at the end of January 2012.

Social Workers:

There have been high level discussions with Hillingdon Social Services.  There are still no Hillingdon social workers based in the Trust’s hospitals, but social workers based in the Civic Centre visit the hospitals, when possible.  This lack of on-site service impacts on patients’ discharge arrangements.

Published on 02 March 2012

Reattendance rates:

This is 8.8%, higher than the Trust would like, but there is a core of frequent attenders with both mental health and physical disorders – if the 10 patients that most frequently attend were excluded, the rate would drop to 4.6%.


The Trust has reported a fifth case of MRSA bacteraemia, against its target of three, but it is appealing on inclusion of the two most recent cases, which are for the same complex patient, who has had a number of admissions throughout the year and in total has recorded six MRSA bacteraemia on separate occasions.

The Trust has had 22 cases of clostridium difficile year to date, which is within target, but the risk of repeated norovirus infection at this time of year is high, so there is no complacency

Caesarean rate:

At 28.5% this remains above target of <27%, but is lower than previously


Better than plan performance in December improved the Trust’s financial position, reducing the year to date deficit to £1,118k,  the Trust has been granted £1.2m from the Department of Health from its Access Initiative Fund.  Local contract caps on what the Trust can charge commissioners this year has resulted in a significant amount of work being done where payment is being challenged – net negative impact for December was £2m.  However, the Trust is still forecasting break-even at year end, despite increasing workload and the challenges.  Both agency pay and discretionary pay reduced from the same months last year

Winter planning:

The Trust has continued to work with the London Borough of Hillingdon.  However, there are increasing concerns regarding social care provision as LBH has withdrawn social worker presence from the hospital, which impacts adversely on patient assessment and discharge from hospital.

Leaving Hospital Project:

This covers two pilots wards, one surgical, one medical with a plan to roll out later in the year.  This includes medicine management, accurate coding and liaison with GPs, but it is being kept as simple as possible, to avoid the outcome being marred by complexity.

First Contact Project:

This is focused on Out Patients Department, with emphasis on understanding the ‘did not attend’ rates and identifying measurable outcomes, as well as focus on letters to  GPs and patients.

Ward visits by Board Members:

Board Members are now re-introducing ward visits.  Their findings will be collated and presented to future Board Meetings held in public.

Provision for mental health patients in A&E:

These patients awaiting assessment are accommodated in a relatively isolated unit  which is hard to monitor.  There have been over 130 incidents in the last 12 months where mental health patients have absconded from A&E.  Two of these absconded and committed suicide.  Better accommodation and a better process for assessment are being explored.

Published on 30 January 2012

New parking arrangements and charges:

Fines for parking transgressions are being levied - £35 if paid within 14 days or £50 if not then paid.  12 hour tickets are being extended to 14 hours to accommodate staff working 12 hour shifts.  There have been some complaints from people who previously parked on grass outside proper parking spaces.

New publicity posters about parking charges:

A3 laminated posters are to be displayed in both hospitals, noting the new tariffs but also showing the concessions for frequent attenders, wheither as visitors or as patients.

Parking ticket machines at the Woodlands Centre, Hillingdon:

A review of ticket machines in that area will be undertaken with a view to improving the provision.

Staff car sharing events:

Events are being held to introduce staff to other staff members who might possibly be able to share travel arrangements.  These events will take place on 9th February and 13th March at Hillingdon Hospital and on 23rd February and 15th March at Mount Vernon.

Additional staff car parking:

The Crown in Colham Green Road, Hillingdon, has changed its policy and is now in discussion with the Trust about the possibility of providing some staff parking on that site – good news for everyone if it succeeds, as every staff member parking off-site leaves an additional parking space for patients and visitors.

Published on 30 January 2012
Thank you for visiting the RRA website. We welcome feedback. To send us an email, please click the envelope Feedback