Lincolnshire’s hospitals to remain in special measures following inspection

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released its latest report on United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) following inspections in June and July this year.

This report shows that the Trust has been rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ overall – the same rating it received following the last inspection in 2018.

Whilst improvements have been made in some areas, the report also notes many areas where more needs to be done. Therefore, it has been confirmed that the Trust will remain in quality special measures for the time being.

ULHT Chief Executive Andrew Morgan said: “We are disappointed that despite all of our best efforts, we have not made the progress we wanted and therefore will not be coming out of special measures.

“We acknowledge that we have more to do to improve our rating, but we’d like to reassure our patients and public that although many areas of our hospitals were rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ in this latest inspection, we maintain a focus on providing safe, quality care to our patients and our rating for ‘Caring’  was ‘Good’.

“Many of the issues identified are structural- around governance, staffing shortages, estates issues, lack of digital maturity and financial pressures. It is also clear that we need to focus on recruitment, leadership, staff training and competencies, staff engagement and addressing workforce inequalities going forward.

“We also acknowledge particular concerns around our emergency departments and are taking action to ensure that improvements are made as quickly as possible. We also took immediate action to address the CQC’s urgent concerns following their visits.

“We are determined to take this feedback and make significant improvements across the Trust, for the benefit of our staff and patients.”

The report also identified areas where the Trust has made improvements, including the overall rating for Pilgrim Hospital, Boston improving from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Requires Improvement’ and recognition of the significant progress made over the past year around mortality rates – with the Trust now reporting the lowest Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) score ever.

The CQC also identified areas of outstanding practice observed within ULHT hospitals, in the areas of medical care, critical care and maternity at Lincoln and Pilgrim.

Mr Morgan said: “To address the concerns raised, we have a comprehensive quality and safety improvement plan, which is being supported by the system and our regulators. This plan contains specific actions we are taking to improve the areas where we are not delivering safe, responsive, effective outcomes, including a detailed set of actions around improvements in urgent and emergency care.”