latest health care news


NHS’s largest trust leaves special measures after ‘transformation’

The largest NHS trust in the country has been taken out of special measures for quality after nearly four years, with inspectors finding a substantial improvement in the quality of services – but remains in financial special measures.

Barts Health NHS Trust in London has been rated as ‘requires improvements’ by the CQC, which said it had transformed its patient care but that there remained warnings about some areas of performances –such as finances and maternity services.

It has now been removed from special measures for performance but the London trust, which serves 2.6 million people and has a workforce of 17,000 across three acute hospitals and two specialist sites, remains in financial special measures.

The London trust was placed in special measures in 2015 after inspectors found serious failures in the quality of care and concerns that a culture of bullying and a failing management would be unable to make the necessary improvements.

Several inspections of the trust followed but the CQC continued to identify concerns relating to patient safety, organisational culture, and governance.

England’s chief inspector of hospitals Edward Baker said: “Since that time, CQC has been keeping a close watch, with support from local CCGs and NHS Improvement. In many areas the quality of service has been transformed.

“Credit must go to the leadership team at the trust and to the commitment and hard work of all the staff. I congratulate them on what they have achieved.

“While the overall rating remains ‘requires improvement,’ there has been substantial improvement in the quality of services at the trust and I am happy to recommend that it is removed from special measures.”

Inspectors found better oversight of care across core services, significant investment in IT, and better engagement with patients. Staff reported visible and engaging leaders at all levels and an improved culture at the trust.

However, the CQC said areas still remain that require crucial attention, particularly around the ‘inadequate’ maternity services in Newham; and the trust also remains in financial special measures in the face of a deficit of £84.7m over 2018-19.

Alwen Williams, chief executive of Barts Health NHS Trust, said Britain’s busiest hospital group was celebrating its departure from special measures for quality.

She said: “Today is a significant step forward on our improvement journey and a tribute to the skill and dedication of our 17,000 hard-working and talented staff.

“We are grateful for the support our regulators have given us in recent years.”

NHSI’s executive medical director and chief operating officer, Kathy McLean, commented: “I want to recognise the unwavering commitment of staff and leaders who have worked so hard to improve care for their patients and who should be very proud of this achievement.

She said the CQC rating was “fantastic news” but stated that there was still much work to be done, adding that NHSI would continue to work with the trust.

Image credit - chrisdorney


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >


Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

17/02/2020Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

Independent consultant and strategic advisor Dean Royles continues his series on The Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership. You can find links to his previous pieces here. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >