Inspection and Regulation


Chief inspector ‘disappointed’ with progress of Worcestershire special measures trust

More needs to be done to pull Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust out of special measures, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said.

The trust, which runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital & Treatment Centre and Alexandra Hospital, was placed into special measures in December 2015 and has been subject to frequent inspection since then.

However, England’s chief inspector of hospitals has said that although some improvements have been made, more must be done to ensure patients receive appropriate care.

Early last year, the trust was told to improve or face potential administration, and inspectors visited between 23 January and 22 March to check on progress with improvements following a previous inspection in November 2017.

While the trust’s rating for being well-led has improved from inadequate to requires improvement, its ratings for being effective and being safe and responsive remain as requires improvement and inadequate respectively.

According to the CQC, there is a “strong link” between the quality of overall management of a trust and the quality of its services, and inspectors found that the stability of the leadership had “significantly increased” over the last year, with just one executive post interim at the time of the inspection.

The leadership team were aware of the challenges to quality and sustainability faced by the trust, as well as the actions needed to address them, but many projects were at an early stage and so had not yet consistently resulted in the required improvements.

Not all staff in senior roles had the experience, knowledge, capacity or capability to lead effectively. Shortly before the inspection there had been a reconfiguration of clinical divisions.

Although the trust’s rating remains as good for being caring and some services had improved, inspectors found that some had declined since the last inspection, which the chief inspector called “disappointing”, and overall its rating has remained as inadequate and it remains in special measures.

Chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, explained that the main concerns remain with urgent and emergency care, surgery and outpatients. These remain as inadequate overall with patients waiting for over an hour before being handed over to emergency department staff – worse than the average for England.

However, improvements were seen across maternity services at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, which are now rated as good, with the Meadow Birth Centre winning a national award in recognition of its outstanding health care environment.

Baker said: “This trust has been in special measures far too long. Further improvements are needed and must be delivered rapidly. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, taking further action as necessary. 

The trust board knows what it must do to bring about sustainable change to its services and ensure people receive the care they should be able to expect.”


Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!




There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Councillors fear identity crisis following CCG merger

22/06/2018Councillors fear identity crisis following CCG merger

Members of one of Kent’s leading councils have voiced their concerns against an upcoming merger between CCGs in the area. Cllr Wendy P... more >
Top NHS England boss to leave the organisation

22/06/2018Top NHS England boss to leave the organisation

NHS England’s chief financial officer will leave the post after 11 years. Paul Baumann CBE, who joined NHS London in 2007, and took up... more >
Most urgent primary care services ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’

22/06/2018Most urgent primary care services ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’

Over eight in 10 primary care services are providing good care, despite mounting work force and commissioning pressures, the CQC has said. A... more >

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 e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

The impact of NICE on cardiovascular disease prevention

06/06/2018The impact of NICE on cardiovascular disease prevention

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director Health and Social Care at NICE, looks into what can be done to decrease cardiovascular disease nationally and how to prevent missed opportunities in the future. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for just over a quarter of deaths and affects around 7 million people in the UK. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >


Getting more out of our medicines

20/06/2018Getting more out of our medicines

Paul Chrisp, programme director of medicines and technologies at NICE, describes how the organisation is re-purposing drugs in order to improve p... more >
Under attack

20/06/2018Under attack

One attack against an NHS worker is one too many. But unfortunately, the trend in recent years has been alarmingly upwards, with no part of the N... more >
Lessons from WannaCry

20/06/2018Lessons from WannaCry

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, warns that the UK Government must take seriously the threat of a more soph... more >
A hostile environment

20/06/2018A hostile environment

Dr Terry John, chair of the BMA’s international committee, gives his thoughts on the government’s visa and immigration policy and its... more >


Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >
Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >
Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

02/10/2017Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

NHE interviews Gillian Fox, head of eProcurement (Scan4Safety) programme at NHS Supply Chain. How has the Scan4Safety initiative evolved sin... more >

health service focus

View all News