latest health care news

07.09.18

Ex-special measures trust still needs to improve as poor CQC rating left unchanged

East Kent Hospitals FT has been told by the health inspectorate that is must make improvements following the latest CQC review.

The Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother, William Harvey and Kent & Canterbury Hospital were all rated as ‘requires improvement’ in the latest CQC report, meaning there have been no substantial improvements since the last inspection in 2016.

The foundation trust was originally put into special measures in 2014 because of serious failures in patient safety and leadership but was removed in 2016 after inspectors identified enough improvements.

Despite this, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, Amanda Stanford, revealed that there have been some positive changes since the last investigation, with the trust now working with local stakeholders to develop a new clinical strategy that meets regional needs.

“Although it is important, this work must not be allowed to distract from support to the trust to drive forward improvements or embed the changes that are needed to support the trust leadership at this time,” she added.

“The board must concentrate on the strategic direction of the trust and allow staff to continue to embed the operational improvements that are required. We will return in due course to check their progress.”

The trust remained rated as ‘requires improvement’ for being safe, effective, well-led and responsive, but was considered ‘good’ for being caring.

Last month four East Kent CCGs were placed into special measures following an annual assessment of the area’s finances by NHS England.

The CCGs – which operate under the East Kent CCG umbrella including Ashford, South Coast, Canterbury & Coastal and Thanet – announced their intention to “work more closely together” to combat the region’s well-known financial challenges.

Three of the four commissioning groups ended the financial year in the red, with Ashford CCG reporting a deficit of £9.5m and Canterbury and Coastal a deficit of £13m.

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