The NHS Trust Development Authority today (NHS TDA) confirmed that Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is to come out of special measures, but will continue to receive support.
The Trust was placed into special measures in July 2013 after Professor Sir Bruce Keogh inspected the Trust and found poor engagement with staff and patients, weak governance and assurance structures and concerns about nurse staffing numbers.
Since the inspection, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has followed a robust improvement plan that has included recruiting more nurses, better engagement with staff and patients and the board being more aware of what is happening on the wards. They have also recruited over 200 qualified nurses and additional consultant cover.
The NHS TDA supported Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to deliver key improvements by setting up a relationship between the Trust and the high performing Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, appointing an experienced Improvement Director and making changes in the leadership of the organisation. This has resulted in strengthened leadership with the appointment of a new Chair and a systematic and sustained approach to quality and safety improvement.
After re-inspection under the CQC’s new inspection regime, they have recommended that the Trust comes out of special measures with the condition that it continues to receive ongoing support.
Professor Stephen Dunn, Director of Delivery of Development at the NHS Trust Development Authority, said:
“This is excellent news for the patients and staff at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and is recognition of the hard work and scale of improvement that has been achieved. It shows that the support that this trust has had can make a real difference to improving the quality of services.
“However, there is still work to be done before the Trust no longer needs support. It is absolutely crucial that they are able to maintain the momentum and focus that got them this far and continue to deliver improvements for patients.”
The NHS TDA will ensure that for the foreseeable future the Trust still has the support of an Improvement Director and that they continue with the buddying arrangement in place with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust will also benefit from a continued high level of oversight from the NHS TDA’s Board of Directors and will be expected to provide regular updates on their progress as they further improve patient care.