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Nurse recruitment helps Bucks trust out of 'special measures'


Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust has become the second trust to leave the “special measures” regime for organisations that are deemed to be failing on quality.

The trust was one of 11 put into special measures last summer following inspections by NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh at trusts with unusually high mortality rates.

The NHS Trust Development Authority removed Buckinghamshire from special measures following a recommendation from the Care Quality Commission’s chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards.

“I have been heartened by how tirelessly staff have worked to improve standards”

Anne Eden

The care regulator inspected the trust’s three main hospitals in March and published its report today.

The CQC said the trust had made “significant improvements in a number of areas”. All three hospitals and the trust as a whole were awarded an overall rating of “requires improvement”, although at each site the regulator rated the caring attitudes of staff as “good”.

Since the Keogh inspection, the trust has implemented an improvement plan that has included recruiting 200 more nurses and additional consultant cover.

Sir Mike Richards said: “We recognise that Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust has worked hard to improve since being placed in special measures last year. 

“Importantly the trust has made real progress to meet the requirements of the Keogh review, at the same time as developing a quality improvement strategy with three aims – to reduce mortality, reduce harm, and improve the patient experience.

Sir Mike Richards

Sir Mike Richards

“We found that staff at all levels were positive about working for the trust,” he said. “They told us that real differences had been made in a relatively short time with a sharpened focus now on quality and safety.” 

However, he added that “there is still much more to do”, and said risks around staffing levels, discharge planning and managing patient flow remained which the trust needed to address. 

Stephen Dunn, director of delivery of development at the TDA said: “This is excellent news for the patients and staff at Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust and is recognition of the hard work and scale of improvement that has been achieved. 

“However, there is still work to be done before the trust no longer needs support. It is absolutely crucial that they are able to maintain the momentum and focus that got them this far and continue to deliver improvements for patients.”

The trust will continue to receive support from the improvement director appointed to it under the special measures regime, and will also continue its “buddying” arrangement with Salford Royal Foundation Trust.

Trust chief executive Anne Eden said: “This has been a challenging year for us, but we have taken our responsibilities very seriously.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare

Anne Eden

“I have been heartened by how tirelessly staff have worked to improve standards to ensure our patients are offered the safe and compassionate care we strive for,” she said.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust was the first provider to leave special measures earlier this month.


Readers' comments (3)

  • The "Trust" recruited " 200 additional nurses ?

    Questions should be asked about why this was necessary !

    Has the previous "Chief" nurse of the "Trust" been called to account ?

    Has the NMC been asked to determine her fitness to practice ?

    Or has a big payoff been made associated with a gagging clause ?

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  • It is good news but I have the feeling that the pathway they are going now will lead to disaster. they made heavy cuts in budgets inclusive nurses hours and badly managed staff ending paying a lot more on agency staff. the manner of ruling and management is almost dictatorial and many nurses left the trust due to rigidity and poor management. now they are recruiting oversees nurses with poor skills many of them newly qualified abroad and they put pressure on the existing staff to get them up and running asap. far away from perfect.

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  • Recruiting 200 nurses leading to an increase in quality of care through the reduction of mortality and harm and improvement in the patient experience ... who would ever have thought it???

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