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CQC finds ‘number of improvements’ at special measures West Midlands trust

A CQC report set to be released today has found “a number of improvements” at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, but inspectors insist more work is still needed.

Following inspections in May and June this year, the trust has moved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement,’ although it has been recommended to stay in special measures.

There were documented increases in the standard of living for patients with dementia, while end-of-life services received praise for providing access to care and treatment in both the acute and community settings 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The trust has progressed since September 2015 when the CQC first found significant improvements were needed across services and placed it in special measures.

Prof Ted Baker, the regulator’s chief inspector of hospitals, who wrote for the latest edition of NHE, said the investigation had revealed “a number of improvements” but that further work was still needed.

Baker explained that there were specific problems highlighted with the trust’s maternity services, prompting officials to come up with an action plan detailing its strategy for ensuring improvements are made.

“We were particularly impressed with community health services which we have rated as ‘outstanding’ overall,” he added.

“The staff in this area are to be commended for their hard word in achieving this. While it was clear improvements had been made, I am recommending the trust remains in special measures so it can continue its work in making improvements to its services with support.

“The trust knows what it must now do to deliver the necessary improvements on behalf of all of their patients and we will return to check on the progress that they make.”

In October, former Walsall CEO Richard Kirby was announced as the next chief executive at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS FT.

Kirby was in charge of the trust when it was first placed in special measures, as well as when the organisation’s main service Manor Hospital was rated as ‘inadequate’ by the CQC last year.

The hospital received praise in the most recent review, with inspectors singling out an alert system that had been developed to immediately notify the long-term condition teams when vulnerable adults attended the A&E department or wards.

A number of important points of improvement were listed – including changes to action plans for serious incidents and ensuring staff were properly trained – but overall, the CQC said the trust was moving in the right direction.

Top images: David Jones PA Archive

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