• Northern Lincolnshire and Goole FT is to be supported by East Lancashire Hospitals Trust after it was placed in both quality and financial special measures
  • East Lancashire trust is now rated ‘good’ after being placed in special measures four years ago
  • Former interim chief executive remains at trust after appointment of new chief executive

A provider in both financial and quality special measures has been given a “buddy” trust by NHS Improvement to improve its position. 

NHS Improvement has commissioned East Lancashire Hospitals Trust to work with Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation Trust, which was placed in both quality and financial special measures earlier this year.

Lyn Simpson, regional managing director for NHS Improvement in the north, said the buddying system had shown “tremendously positive results” in other parts of the country.

She said: “We firmly believe this partnership will be a positive one, which leads to clear and quantifiable outcomes and improvements in healthcare services.”

Peter Reading was appointed chief executive of NLaG last month although HSJ has learned that former interim chief executive Richard Sunley will remain at the trust as deputy chief executive.

Dr Reading said: “We are working to make the necessary improvements to lift ourselves out of special measures for quality and finances, improve our Care Quality Commission ratings and, most importantly, provide the healthcare local people have a right to expect.

“Securing support from ELHT is a significant and welcome step on what will be a challenging journey.”

NLaG, which runs Scunthorpe General Hospital, Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby, and Goole Hospital, is also part of the capped expenditure process. It reported a £10.5m deficit for quarter one, £6.5m worse than planned, and struggles with staff recruitment and retention.

It was also hit by allegations of a patient safety “scandal” and bullying after a whistleblower, who claimed to have held a senior role at the trust for years, said managers were “compromised, bullied and afraid to speak out” about the severity of its problems.

East Lancashire Hospitals was placed in special measures in 2013 but is now rated “good” by the CQC. It will help NLaG to improve quality, patient safety and governance, although full details of the support are still under discussion.

Chief executive Kevin McGee said ELHT would share its experience with NLaG to respond to the special measures regime.

He said: “It has good services and great staff whose commitment, compassion and professionalism are the heart of the trust.

 “They are the key to achieving the progress that is now required.”

Updated at 5.05pm on 5 September to include Mr Sunley’s job title