Celebrating success - with thanks to our buddies

Date: 27 April 2017

Medway NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating the success of a buddying agreement with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Medway NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating the success of a buddying agreement with a major London teaching hospital trust, which has led to significant improvements.

Medway entered a formal agreement with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in March 2015 when it was in special measures and rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission. The buddying arrangement was designed to embed best practice and support widespread improvements across the Trust. 

In March this year the CQC praised the Trust for its improvements and progress across a number of areas, particular in terms of the quality and safety of care, and for the cohesive Medway leadership that is now well established and continues to lead improvements across the Trust. These improvements led to the Trust being taken out of special measures. 

Chief Executive Lesley Dwyer said: “We have been fortunate to be buddied with a great Trust, and to have worked alongside some excellent colleagues. There is no doubt that the support we have received from Guy’s and St Thomas’, and the fantastic efforts of Medway NHS Foundation Trust staff have been instrumental in the significant progress we have made over the last two years.

“The team who have worked with us have helped us quickly establish new models of care to improve patient experience, for example, patients seeing fewer doctors while in the hospital, and reducing length of stay. Our mortality rate has also greatly improved during this time and is now within the average range.

“I am delighted to say that some of the first class clinicians and managers from Guy’s and St Thomas’ have now become permanent members of our leadership team, including our Medical Director, Dr Diana Hamilton-Fairley, and our Director of Nursing, Karen Rule.”

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The significant improvements which have been made to the quality and safety of patient care are cause for celebration for patients and staff at Medway. They also reflect the hard work of many Guy’s and St Thomas’ staff who have supported Medway over the past two years as part of our ‘buddying’ arrangement.

“We have a long tradition of working with partners, both locally and further afield, to share clinical expertise and management skills in order to improve patient care, and we were delighted to be able to support our colleagues at Medway in this way.”

The formal buddying agreement has now come to an end, and representatives from the two trusts, as well as from NHS Improvement and NHS England, met to celebrate some of the achievements, including:

  • The introduction of a Medical Model which saw improvements in the medical pathway, greater clinical accountability, and more accurate data gathering.
  • The establishment of a Deteriorating Patient Programme, which greatly improved the safe care of patients
  • The Surgical Pathway, which has involved reviewing practices, and working towards improvements in the time between referral and treatment.

Lesley Dwyer said: “We are now in much better shape at Medway, as recognised by the CQC, and about to launch phase three of our improvement plan – ‘Better, Best, Brilliant’. To ensure our progress continues at pace we want to continue to work with the best – that will include Guy’s and St Thomas’ as well as learning from other trusts. We want to continue to bring the best practice in healthcare to Medway, and will want to maintain partnerships with organisations which demonstrate excellence for patients.”​

  • Summary:

    Medway NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating the success of a buddying agreement with a major London teaching hospital trust, which has led to significant improvements.