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George Eliot and North Lincs trusts taken out of 'special measures'

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Two further trusts placed in regulatory “special measures” last summer have been removed from the regime, the health secretary announced this week.

Jeremy Hunt gave an update to the Commons on progress made by the 11 trusts placed in special measures after being investigated under the Keogh review of organisations with persistently high mortality ratios.

The Department of Health confirmed both George Eliot Hospital Trust and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals Foundation Trust had been taken out of regulatory special measures, although the latter will be offered “ongoing support”.

Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust, meanwhile, will stay in special measures for at least another six months, although the Care Quality Commission has found it made some progress.

So far, of the 11 trusts placed into the regulatory measures, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust and Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust have all been removed from special measures.

Meanwhile, North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust and United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust were found by inspectors to have made progress but will remain in special measures.

Medway Foundation Trust was found not to have made any progress, with CQC chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards describing its leadership as the “most unstable” the regulator had come across since it overhauled its inspection regime last autumn.

Decisions on the final two of the 11 trusts, Burton Hospitals Foundation Trust and Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, are expected soon.

Overall the 14 trusts investigated under the Keogh review have recruited 603 more nurses, 721 more nurse support staff, and 101 more doctors, according to DH figures.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Commons on Wednesday: “Mid Staffs was a wake-up call which uncovered how staff in a minority of isolated hospitals believed poor care was somehow normal and acceptable.

“Having learned from the education system, we brought in some of the best people in the business with the experience and dynamism needed to inspire a different culture.

“Thanks to a sharp focus on admitting problems rather burying heads in the sand, some of these hospitals have tackled their deep-rooted failings for the first time and are on the road to recovery.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hunt was expected to detail a new special measures regime for social care providers. A regime for GPs is expected to be announced later in the summer.

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