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Foundation trust thrown back into special measures after major service deterioration

A Norfolk-based foundation trust has been placed back into special measures, just three years after being taken out by the health inspectorate.

The CQC rated the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS FT ‘inadequate,’ with the trust being told it must make improvements to a number of areas – including ensuring accuracy of patient care record, and consistently and competently carrying out mental capacity assessments.

Queen Elizabeth was originally placed into special measures in August 2013 after failing to meet the conditions of its license by not hitting national waiting-time targets for A&E for three consecutive quarters.

The provider was then removed from special measures in August 2015 after receiving a package of support by the now-defunct Monitor to improve its services.

However, yesterday the FT was placed back into special measures after an inspection between 4 April and 21 June. The ‘inadequate’ rating was assigned to the ‘well-led’ and ‘safe’ categories, while the trust was considered to ‘require improvement’ for being effective and responsive.

Inspectors noted the trust must ensure processes for incident reporting, investigation, actions, and learning must be embedded across all services. Serious incidents must also be identified, reported, and investigated in a timely manner.

CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said there had been a “deterioration” in the service provided since their last visit and a number of improvements were needed.

“Our concerns in relation to the maternity service were such that we raised these with the executive directors while on site, issued a warning notice to the trust, identifying areas where it must improve, and placed conditions on the trust’s registration,” he added. “We know the trust initiated an immediate action improvement plan for maternity services and we will return to check on improvements in the service.

“We have reported our findings to the trust leadership and it knows what it must do now to bring about the necessary improvements. We will continue to liaise with NHS Improvement with regard to the trust and its progress and our inspectors will return in due course to check on whether the improvement needed has taken place.”

Chief executive Jon Green said reading the report left him “saddened,” adding: “We fully accept all that the CQC have said and I would like to apologise to those patients who we have let down and to our dedicated staff who work so hard under sometimes extreme pressures. I am determined to ensure this organisation improves and meets their expectations.

“We have already started to address the issues highlighted in the report and have comprehensive plans in place to ensure we turn this situation around. Our vision is to deliver high-quality, patient centred, integrated care and we continue to work towards this.”

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Image credit: Geograph


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