Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust will receive enhanced support

Following the CQC Chief Inspector of Hospital’s recommendation, the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) has confirmed that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust will receive intensive support under special measures.

The Trust started to deliver a comprehensive patient care improvement plan earlier this year, and the CQC has identified a number of areas of good practice, including outstanding care in maternity services, recognising how hard Trust staff are working to deliver good care.

The inspection also found that further improvements were needed, and in recognition of the long-term improvement journey ahead, the CQC has recommended that the Trust receives an enhanced level of support under the special measures package. This will ensure the Trust gets intensive resources to help them to deliver sustainable improvements to all patient services.

Jeffrey Worrall, Portfolio Director at the NHS Trust Development Authority said:

“We have accepted the Chief Inspector of Hospital’s recommendation and will ensure Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust continues to receive intensive support to embed long-term improvements to patient services.

“There is an ongoing improvement plan in progress across the Trust and all partners recognise the need for continued, enhanced support to remain in place for the foreseeable future. The Trust will continue to receive advice and guidance from a dedicated Improvement Director, and we will be focussing on strengthening the leadership team. We will also identify high performing organisations for the Trust to work with and focus improvements in specific areas.

“The Trust has made considerable progress in some areas acknowledged by the inspection team, particularly following focussed support for A&E, and they continue to operate in a significantly challenged environment. In this context, staff must be commended for their dedication and for working tirelessly to deliver good care for patients and residents in Worcestershire. We will work with the Trust and health partners to ensure they are supported as they continue to improve services for patients.”

Special measures provides an important opportunity to increase support and address significant challenges for care delivery, ensuring the Trust can deliver excellent care for the patients and residents of Worcestershire. Under special measures all services for patients will continue to operate as usual. The CQC inspection findings also reinforced the need to move forward with the acute service reconfiguration programme to secure a sustainable future for patient services and certainty for staff.

The support package for the Trust will include:

• Expert support from an improvement director. This is already in place, and the NHS TDA will expand the remit of this role, to ensure focussed support and improvement leadership continues to build on the achievements so far.

• Identifying several high performing NHS trusts to support specific improvement work streams identified by the CQC inspection. This work will be co-ordinated by the Improvement Director.

• Supporting the further development of the Trust’s Patient Care Improvement Plan (PCIP) – which will be approved and assured by the NHS TDA and partners.

• The TDA will work with the Trust to commission resources to support the revised PCIP and make rapid improvements.

• Support to move forward with the acute services reconfiguration programme to secure a sustainable future for patient services.

• Supporting the leadership team which currently includes interim positions, and assisting with substantive recruitment.

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