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Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Monitor takes further action

Monitor is taking further action to turn around one of the worst performing Accident and Emergency departments (A&E) in the country.

Southend University Hospital has one of the worst performing A&E departments in the country.

Monitor has ordered Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to take a series of urgent steps after failing to make improvements in services for its patients.

The trust has repeatedly failed to consistently meet the national target of seeing most A&E patients within 4 hours, and ensure most wait less than 18 weeks for operations.

Monitor believes continuing to keep patients waiting too long for both emergency treatment and routine operations is indicative of wider problems with the way Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is led. Monitor is also concerned about the stability of its executive team, which has had a very high turnover of members in the last 2 years.

Measures to improve patient care

Monitor now requires the trust to undertake a series of measures to improve the care it provides to patients, and how it is run. These include:

  • implementing a credible plan to improve A&E services
  • developing a plan to improve the speed with which non-emergency patients receive treatment
  • boosting its clinical and management teams

Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has also been instructed by Monitor to carry out a review into the effectiveness of its board to find out whether it is fit for purpose.

Adam Cayley, Regional Director at Monitor said:

This trust has had one of the worst performing A&E departments in the country. It has also failed to see other patients who have been referred for treatment quickly enough.

It is unacceptable that patients have to wait. Monitor will not hesitate to step in and make changes to the leadership if the trust does not improve its services for its patients.

Published 25 June 2014