News story

‘Special measures’ successfully turning troubled hospitals around

A report published today by Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority finds that significant progress has been made turning around some of England’s most challenged hospitals.

Special measures – a package of regulatory tools designed to provide intensive support to challenged trusts – was put in place in July 2013 after Sir Bruce Keogh’s review into hospitals with higher than average mortality rates identified failings in the quality of care at 11 NHS trusts and foundation trusts. Since July, a further 3 trusts have been placed into special measures.

Each trust in special measures is required to produce an action plan which is published on the NHS Choices website and frequently updated. Of the 244 special measures actions across all the trusts, 82 (34%) have been delivered and a further 127 (52%) are on track for completion in the expected timescale. Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority are holding trusts to account where actions have been delayed.

At a number of trusts, the Keogh mortality review raised concerns around staff levels. In the first 3 months of the special measures programme alone, trusts appointed nearly 650 more nurses and nurse support staff and more than 130 additional doctors.

Detailed summaries of progress at each trust in special measures can be found here.

Dr David Bennett, Chief Executive of Monitor, said:

Although there is still a way to go, trusts in special measures are using the additional support we’re giving them to deliver real improvements for patients.

The challenge now is to see this process completed so that these hospitals are consistently delivering good care.

David Flory CBE, Chief Executive of the NHS Trust Development Authority, said:

Today’s report shows the substantial progress that has been made in each of the NHS trusts that have been placed in special measures and I want to thank the NHS staff. There is clearly also much more support that we need to provide as they work towards delivering further sustainable improvements for patients.

NHS trusts and foundation trusts in special measures: update

Published 14 February 2014