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Trust in breach of six CQC standards

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One of the Department of Health’s seven “financially challenged” trusts has been found in breach of standards in six separate areas by the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC identified breaches on staffing levels, safeguarding, standards of care, the management of medicines, record keeping and systems to assess the standards of care at South London Healthcare Trust.

The acute trust has until Friday this week to produce compliance plans after the regulator published its report last week.

South London Healthcare Trust runs three hospitals in south east London and Kent. It ended 2009-10 with a £42m deficit and forecasts a £36m deficit this financial year.

Trust chief executive Chris Streather said the regulator’s findings were “overall” pleasing.

He said: “In those areas where the CQC found that improvements were needed to our procedures, we have taken a series of immediate steps to put these right.”

He said concerns about clinical staffing levels at the trust’s Queen Mary’s site had been addressed through the recent temporary closure of its emergency care and maternity units.

South London Healthcare Trust reports to NHS London’s challenged trust board, which collects funds from the capital’s primary care trusts to support organisations with underlying deficits.

Last week it emerged the leaders of two of the capital’s other “challenged trusts” have changed roles.

John Goulston is leaving the chief executive role at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust to become head of provider development at NHS London.

His place will be taken by Averil Dongworth, who will leave Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust in February. It is not clear who will take her place.

Both trusts are at the centre of controversial reconfigurations. Last month local PCTs approved plans to close emergency and maternity services at King’s George’s Hospital, part of Barking, Havering and Redbridge.

A decision is pending on reconfiguration plans at Barnet and Chase Farm, which involve shutting the A&E department at Chase Farm Hospital.

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