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14.11.13

Special measures for Colchester Hospital University FT

Colchester Hospital University FT has been put into special measures, Monitor has announced.

The trust was deemed to have breached its licence after a CQC inspection showed cancer care was inadequate. Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, recommended that it be placed in special measures.

Colchester was one of the trusts under review by Sir Bruce Keogh for higher than average mortality.

Monitor will appoint an improvement director to work on patient quality, safety and governance, while a high-performing FT will be asked to offer support and expertise to improve the cancer care pathway.

The trust will be required to publish and regularly update an action plan on the steps it is taking to improve, and Monitor has added an extra licence condition to ensure the necessary capability is in place to run the trust. This will allow the regulator to take further action if necessary.

Adam Cayley, regional director for Monitor said: “Following the urgent actions already taken to safeguard patients at the trust we have stepped in formally to assure the health and wellbeing of patients using the cancer pathway at Colchester.

“The trust has been given an explicit set of actions to improve the service it offers patients. We will be monitoring progress closely and we will not hesitate to take further regulatory action if required.

“The leadership of the trust will be reviewed as part of our scrutiny of the trust’s governance arrangements and, if necessary, further regulatory action will be taken.”

Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “We welcome Monitor's decision to accept my recommendation to place Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust in special measures. I am pleased that information from CQC's inspection has resulted in the action that is being taken by Monitor to improve services at the trust. CQC will continue to monitor the trust in line with its regulatory responsibilities and this will include further inspections.”

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