There have been a number of positive early indicators for the Hinchingbrooke franchise, with improvements in overall performance, clinical results, patient experience, value for money and staff engagement.

In terms of early indicators relating to overall performance, Circle is reporting that:

  • although once labelled as a ‘financial and clinical basket case’ by Health Minister, Earl Howe, Hinchingbrooke is now ranked top full service hospital in whole NHS Midlands and East region (6/46 where the top 5 hospitals had no emergency departments).
  • the hospital jointly topped the inaugural ‘friends and family’ test of 46 hospitals in Midlands and East.

Relating to clinical results, Circle is reporting that:

  • A&E, previously consistent worst performer in Cambridgeshire, is now top in the Midlands and East.
  • direct contact nursing care time was 51% last year, but is now 62%, with 100% of wards now doing patient handovers at the bedside.
  • cancer targets were last met at the hospital in June 2010. The hospital has now met its targets for fifth month running.

Patient experience figures show that:

  • satisfaction with patient food has gone from 59% in March (following menu re-design) to 88% in April 88% to 94% in May. Locally sourced food has increased from 20% in February to 95% now.
  • last year 850 pieces of patient feedback were collected. Now over 2,000 pieces are collected per month.
  • unpopular car park fines have been scrapped

Circle also reports the following information relating to value for money:

  • how long patients stay in hospital following hip and knee interventions has reduced from 5.6 days in February, to 3.1 in June, while maintaining outcomes. Theatre productivity has increased, with late starts reduced from 80% – 37%, and number of lists reduced from 68 – 62.
  • £1.1 million of procurement savings have been banked, and the hospital is on track to save £1.6m this year.

Staff engagement:

  • the hospital had previously struggled to attract suitably qualified staff, with average of 1-2 applications for consultant surgical vacancies. There is now a many-fold increase in applications. Recent colorectal vacancies attracted 22 high-calibre applicants.
  • seventeen clinicians have been promoted to hospital board, embedding clinical leadership at heart of decision-making.
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