IN A bad week for Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, figures obtained by the Advertiser show the hospital's record for dealing with the highest needs patients within four hours has dropped from third best in London to second worst.
Meanwhile it emerged that 30 per cent of health staff – equivalent to more than 1,000 – say they would not want a relative or friend to be treated in the hospital – the worst figure in the country.
The Advertiser can also reveal a further board member has stepped down – the fourth since December. Constance Hall, vice-chair, has left the trust.
Figures obtained by the Advertiser show in 2010/11, Croydon dealt with 97.95 per cent of "Type 1" patients – the most severe category – within the four-hour national target, the third best in London.
However, this has now dropped to 90.8 per cent for this year, the second worst across the capital out of 22 trusts.
Mr Goulston said: "If we look at the organisation one of the key things is we clearly do need to improve on our patient experience in terms of we do not have as high a rating as other trusts.
"The priority is to improve the quality of care across our emergency care pathways.
"We have been recruiting more of our own staff and we will continue to do that, so we do absolutely accept that we haven't had enough of our own staff fully employed."
Mr Goulston said more than 100 extra clinical staff have been employed under his tenure, which began last May, and that he aims to recruit 50 more across the hospital.
The spend on agency staff is higher for the first nine months of this financial year than last.
With regards to the staff survey, published in March last year, Mr Goulston added: "We have not been as good as we should be in engaging with the staff and putting them at the centre.
"The number one priority is staff engagement and empowerment because if we get that we will improve our patient experience and will improve the morale of our staff."
The previous staff survey, published in March 2011, found that 17 per cent of staff said they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from colleagues or managers, while three per cent – more than 100 frontline staff – said they had suffered physical violence from colleagues or managers.
Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, employs about 3,500 full and part-time staff, has a budget of around £228 million and is currently running a deficit of £1.2 million.
It is struggling to break even financially this year for the first time in years, having posted surpluses for at least the last five years.
It is also forecasting to break even for next year, putting the hospital's bid for foundation trust status at risk.