We can think of four very good reasons why you should feel confident that when you choose our hospitals for your treatment, you’ll be in good hands.
1) Because we aim to make your time with us as comfortable and stress-free as possible
Take it as read that our doctors, nurses and other clinical staff will always being doing their best to make sure that you receive high quality care during the time you spend in our hospitals. But there are other things that are often equally important.
All of our hospitals have good transport links and public parking facilities.
We run a pay-and-display parking system at the QEII and Hertford County hospitals, while a similar system is used at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre. The Lister now has a pay-on-exit multi-storey car park. This provides a much better parking experience, especially for those with disabilities.
If you have transport problems then we can help you to get to hospital.
We can also arrange for a translator to assist you if you or your family need any help talking to our staff.
While you are in our care, we have a range of teams in place to deal with your queries and concerns – from our PALS service through to the Trust’s duty matrons.
And if we get something wrong and you want to make a complaint, then you won’t find us hiding behind bureaucracy. We welcome complaints, not only because we want to investigate when a patient’s experience is as good as we would like. But we also want to make sure that we learn from what happened to try and prevent similar problems happening for others.
2) Because our services are recognised widely as some of the best available
Here at the Trust we’re not just about being a district general hospital. Yes, we do provide a wide range of routine medical and surgical services – both emergency and non-emergency. But we also provide several nationally and internationally-acclaimed regional specialities too.
Our renal medicine team enjoys an extremely high national and international reputation for the quality of the service they provide. A couple of years ago, more than £750,000 was spent on expanding and developing our renal dialysis unit at the Lister into an ultra-modern centre for this vulnerable group of patients. During 2013, two new renal dialysis satellite units – each costing £1.5 million and developed in partnership with Diaverum – opened in Bedford and Harlow.
The Lister is also the base for the Trust’s urology service, which is recognised as one of the best in the country. It is in the process of becoming the centre for specialist urology cancer surgery in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
We are one of few trusts in the region to have a multi-million pound ‘urology robot’, which allows surgeons to perform intricate surgical procedures by controlling laparoscopic (key hole) instruments. Dozens of kidney, bladder and prostate cancer patients have already benefited from this hi-tech machine. Recently the robot was replaced with a newer version.
Mount Vernon Cancer Centre
Finally, the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre has earned itself an impressive reputation, both home and abroad, for the quality of its care and research. The centre treats patients with a wide range of cancers, principally offering radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
We have the first CyberKnife radiotherapy system in the NHS. It is the latest state-of-the-art medical technology from the US that allows tumours to be targeted with pin-point accuracy. This will mark the first time ever that treatment using one of these machines will be available in the health service.
3) Because our waiting times are at an all-time low
We have worked extremely hard to ensure that the vast majority of our patients will start receiving their treatment within 18 weeks of being referred by their GP. That’s a maximum wait by the way, with many people waiting for far less time than that.
Having the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre means that many patients with a wide variety of cancers attend our hospitals every year. We are really pleased that we meet each and every one of the nationally set waiting time standards, which means that people get diagnosed and treated more quickly than ever before.
4) Because we are winning the fight against superbugs
We know what’s on most people’s minds when faced with a spell in hospital and it’s usually just four letters – M, R, S and A.
But our latest figures show that your chances of contracting an MRSA blood infection – which is the one that everyone worries about – at one of our hospitals is around 1 in every 11,000 patients treated at our hospitals.
But how risky is that? To put it in percentage terms, your risk of getting one of these infections in our hospitals is now less than 0.01%. This, as any half-decent golfer will tell you, is more than double their odds of scoring a hole-in-one on the next trip to a fairway.
And it’s not just MRSA that we’re wiping out in our hospitals. Those same figures show that you now have just a 1 in 8,900 chance – or 0.01% if you prefer percentages – of getting an infection from that other widely feared bacteria, Clostridium difficile (or C diff for short).