The Care Quality Commission has lifted the final condition on Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust while at the same time raising fresh “major concerns” about patient care at the foundation.
The new concerns follow a CQC inspection that revealed serious problems with the care and welfare of patients and the way the trust assesses and monitors the quality of services.
Inspectors found particular weaknesses in the way the trust follows up test results and deals with serious incidents such as missed diagnoses.
However the CQC has also implemented the inspectors’ recommendation to lift the last of the five standards imposed on the trust’s registration in April. The final condition was related to the safe management of legionella.
The unannounced inspection in September was followed up by the CQC last week but the results of the second visit are yet to be published.
The trust has been told to introduce a consistent system for reporting histopathology results and improve incident reporting procedures.
CQC regional director Frances Carey said: “The trust must ensure that all its services are meeting essential standards of quality and safety.
“These are the standards of care anyone should be able to expect in any hospital and we will hold the trust to account if it continues to fail to meet them.
“We are already monitoring the trust closely in relation to other areas of care and we are currently carrying out a further review of the all of the essential standards at the trust and we will issue a further report upon completion.”
The findings come more than a year after the CQC issued a damning report about the trust, criticising the “appalling” care linked to around 400 deaths.
In June it was fined £50,000 plus £40,000 costs following the death of a disabled patient whose head became trapped in a bed railing.
The CQC today said it had made some progress over the past year overall but still needed to make “significant improvements” and would continue to be monitored.
A trust spokeswoman said the organisation welcomed the lifting of the final condition and disagreed with the report’s conclusions.
She said: “We provided clear evidence to challenge the CQC’s view that there are major concerns arising from the management of serious incidents.
“We value the involvement of Monitor and the CQC in the improvements we have made and will continue to work constructively with them in the months ahead to make further progress.”