News story

Monitor secures commitment from Colchester to improve emergency services and finances

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust is to improve emergency care for patients and strengthen its financial position.

It has agreed to legally binding undertakings with Monitor, the health sector regulator, under which it will fix issues with how its emergency services are organised, led and staffed.

As a result, Colchester will now:

  • develop and implement a focused and credible A&E improvement plan
  • take positive steps to improve nurse staffing levels
  • work effectively with any future additional support arranged for the trust by Monitor

Monitor acted after an inspection of Colchester’s A&E and Emergency Assessment Unit by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated it as ‘inadequate’. As a result, Colchester is now rated as ‘inadequate’ overall by the CQC.

Colchester has also agreed to take action to address the financial challenges it faces by developing and implementing an effective financial recovery plan for 2015/16.

The trust has been subject to enforcement action by Monitor since November 2013, including being placed in special measures for problems with its cancer services.

Katherine Cawley, Regional Director at Monitor, said:

Colchester isn’t providing its patients with the high quality emergency care they deserve, so we expect it to make improvements and quickly.

Our action is designed to make sure Colchester’s emergency services are organised, well managed and adequately staffed. We also want Colchester to improve its finances, so it’s able to provide the people of North Essex with quality health services for the long-term.

We will closely monitor the trust’s progress on making these improvements and won’t hesitate to take further action if necessary.