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Barts Health NHS Trust has status upgraded following inspection

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 November 2017

Royal London Hospital

Royal London Hospital

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Barts Health NHS Trust has been upgraded by inspectors, two years after it was placed into special measures.

The trust, which runs five hospitals including The Royal London Hospital, was deemed to require improvement by the Care Quality Commission, having been branded inadequate in its 2015 assessment. It does, though, remain in special measures.

The results of the inspection, which took place in June, were released today and found that all five categories that are assessed - safety, effectiveness, care, responsiveness and leadership - all require improvement.

Three of the hospitals run by Barts - The Royal London, Newham and Whipps Cross - have been assessed in the past year and deemed independently as requiring improvement. An inspection report released in September found St Bartholomew’s to be good.

The trust-wide report, which incorporates elements from the individual hospital assessments, acknowledges a number of improvements.

The senior leadership team were described as visible, new systems have successfully been put in place and a development programme to support staff from minority ethnic backgrounds has won national recognition.

The trust also consistently performed better than the national operational waiting time indicators for cancer care.

However, some areas of poor practice were highlighted and improvements recommended, including ensuring staff are compliant with hand hygiene practices and that enough peope are trained in safeguarding children.

At Whipps Cross in particular, work needs to be done in keeping daily cleaning records, managing infection control in theatres and maintaining the privacy and dignity of patients in cubicles.

Prof Ted Baker, the chief inspector of hospitals, said: “It is apparent that the trust is on a journey of improvement and significant progress has been made. There is still much to do but the trust is improving and this reflects the hard work by the leadership and the staff addressing the problems we have found.”

Alwen Williams, chief executive at Barts Health, added: “It is extremely heartening to hear that we are doing the right things, and to have the tremendous efforts and achievements of our talented staff recognised by the care regulator in this way.

“We still have a lot to do, to ensure governance is managed consistently, and service improvements are achieved across all sites. But there is now no doubt that we are getting better, and capable of making further progress on behalf of our patients.”

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