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Burton hospitals judged ready to leave special measures

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Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is in a position to leave regulatory special measures, regulators have announced today.

The Care Quality Commission based its recommendation on an inspection in July, which found “sufficient” improvements to medical care, safety and leadership for it to make the recommendation.

Fellow regulator Monitor accepted the CQC’s view, formerly removing the organisation from the NHS support scheme for struggling trusts.

However, the trust’s CQC rating remains “requires improvement”.

“I can say with some confidence that special measures is doing what it intended to do”

Mike Richards

Chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards has said that the trust should receive some short-term support to “embed” a post-special measures plan.

The trust has been in special measures since summer 2013, when it was one of the first 11 organisations placed in the regime.

Inspectors said they found a positive culture of incident reporting and good communication among staff.

The team’s inspection report added, however, that improvement is needed to address delays in the outpatient department, and concerns regarding patient flow throughout services.

Inspectors said they did not see any evidence that the trust had set any clear and realistic goals beyond special measures.

Sir Mike Richards

Sir Mike Richards

Sir Mike said: “I am pleased to be able to make my recommendation to Monitor to take Burton Hospitals out of special measures. I can say with some confidence that special measures is doing what it intended to do.

“This is the latest example of what can be achieved by a trust in special measures when there is a clear commitment from the senior leadership team to improve the quality of care, a concerted effort by staff and a package of support,” he said.

He added: “I am recommending that the trust has some short-term support in the first few months of exit to allow it to embed a post-special measures plan. However, I am confident that the trust has made the appropriate clinical improvements.”

The recommendation must now be rubber-stamped by the CQC’s fellow regulator Monitor for the trust to formally leave special measures.  

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