The Care Quality Commission has recommended that Wye Valley NHS Trust be placed in special measures after being rated “inadequate” by inspectors.
The regulator recommended the Herefordshire trust be put in special measures following an inspection in June.
The NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) confirmed this morning that it had accepted the CQC’s recommendation to place the trust in the failure regime.
“Our inspection at Wye Valley Trust highlighted a number of concerns, in particular surrounding the accident and emergency department and medical care”
The trust’s County Hospital in Hereford was rated inadequate by the CQC and its community services as “requires improvement”, according to the inspection report, which was published today.
The trust was judged to be inadequate in terms of whether services were safe, responsive and well led, and the effectiveness of services “required improvement”.
According to the CQC, the trust had a higher than expected mortality rate as measured by the hospital standardised mortality ratio.
There were examples of patients not having “sufficient access to adequate nutrition and hydration” and care was affected by medical, nursing and midwifery staffing shortages.
There were problems with the flow of patients through the trust, including instances when patients remained on a trolley in the accident and emergency department for over 12 hours.
“Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation” forms were not being completed in line with trust policy and the CQC also raised concerns about incident reporting and the escalation of risks.
However, caring at the trust was judged to be “good”. Areas of “outstanding” practice were also identified, including “dedicated and committed staff going the extra mile for their patients”.
The regulator inspected the trust because it was flagged at a high risk of providing poor care under the regulator’s “intelligent monitoring” system.
CQC chief inspector of hospitals, Sir Mike Richards, said: “Our inspection at Wye Valley Trust highlighted a number of concerns, in particular surrounding the accident and emergency department and medical care.
“I have made a recommendation to the [TDA] that the trust is placed in to special measures and we have informed the TDA of the breaches.”
Kathryn Singh, portfolio director at the TDA, said the authority had formally accepted the recommendation and would “ensure the trust takes all necessary action to urgently address the concerns raised”.
University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust will “buddy” with the trust to provide it with support and an improvement director will be appointed to hold Wye Valley to account against delivery of an improvement plan.
Wye Valley’s chief executive, Richard Beekin, said special measures would be “disappointing news for staff”, but praised their “extraordinary commitment to patients”.
There has been uncertainty over Wye Valley’s future since the trust board’s decision in March 2013 that it could not achieve foundation status as a standalone organisation.