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Spread of coronavirus among hospital staff: trust ordered to take immediate action

Outbreak at Hilllingdon Hospital in London prompted CQC investigation of infection control measures
Hillingdon Hospital in west London, where an outbreak of coronavirus prompted the CQC to investigate infection control

Outbreak at Hilllingdon Hospital in London prompted CQC investigation of infection control measures

Inspectors have ordered a hospital in prime minister Boris Johnsons constituency to improve infection control procedures following a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust it must improve its infection control practices immediately.

Hospital was closed to emergencies

The trust could not accept emergency admissions for nine days in July because of the number of staff becoming infected with coronavirus .

Seventy members

Outbreak at Hilllingdon Hospital in London prompted CQC investigation of infection control measures


Hillingdon Hospital in west London  Picture: Alamy

Inspectors have ordered a hospital in prime minister Boris Johnson’s constituency to improve infection control procedures following a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust it must improve its infection control practices immediately.

Hospital was closed to emergencies

The trust could not accept emergency admissions for nine days in July because of the number of staff becoming infected with coronavirus

Seventy members of staff needed to isolate after an undisclosed number tested positive for COVID-19, the trust said at the time.

The outbreak prompted CQC inspectors to conduct an unannounced inspection in August to examine how the trust was controlling the spread of the virus.

CQC’s list of conditions

Following this inspection, the CQC has placed conditions on the trust’s registration.

These require the trust to take measures including:

  • Ensuring staff and patients observe social distancing.
  • Making personal protective equipment (PPE) accessible, and ensuring staff wear it in high-risk areas.
  • Carrying out risk assessments throughout the hospital.

Resignation of chief executive

Trust chief executive Sarah Tedford, who began her NHS career as a nurse, resigned shortly after the CQC inspection. Now, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, Lesley Watts, also a nurse by background, is acting as adviser to the Hillingdon trust board. 

Hillingdon Hospital staff have been told they will not be paid for time spent self-isolating if they break mask rules – a warning also issued to the workforce at Ms Watts' own trust. 

The CQC said it will publish a full report on its findings from the August inspection and will return to check compliance with the conditions it placed on the trust.

The trust said it has taken immediate action to improve safety. 


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