• Norfolk DGH rated inadequate overall and in the CQC’s safe and well-led categories
  • A&E, maternity and medical care departments all rated inadequate
  • Trust says it fully accepts findings and apologises to staff and patient

A small rural trust has been put back in special measures after inspectors found a deterioration in quality since their last visit.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Foundation Trust was rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission which published its inspection report this morning

NHS Improvement confirmed it was placing the trust in special measures following the CQC’s recommendation. 

The £182m turnover trust was first placed in special measures in October 2013, but was taken out in summer 2015 after the CQC upgraded its rating from inadequate to requires improvement following an inspection. The trust said it “fully accepted” the CQC’s latest findings.

The small rural district general hospital, which has long struggled financially, was rated inadequate in the safe and well-led categories, requires improvement for effectiveness and good for caring.

Its urgent and emergency care, maternity and medical care departments were all rated inadequate and surgery, previously rated as good, was rated requires improvement.

The rating means two of Norfolk’s three acute trusts are in special measures following the health economy’s major provider Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust being put in special measures in June 2018.

CQC chief inspector of hospitals Professor Ted Baker said: “Our concerns in relation to the maternity service were such that we raised these with the executive directors while on-site, issued a warning notice to the trust, identifying areas where it must improve, and placed conditions on the trust’s registration. We know the trust initiated an immediate action improvement plan for maternity services and we will return to check on improvements in the service.”

Trust chief executive Jon Green issued a public apology to the hospital’s patients and staff, and pledged that his leadership team would drive improvements in partnership with national bodies.

Mr Green said in a statement that reading the report “leaves me saddened”. He added: “I am determined to ensure this organisation improves and meets their expectations.

“The leadership of the QEH are committed to this organisation and evidence shows the longer leaders are in place, the more that stability helps drive up standards.

“When we welcome the CQC back into our organisation next year I feel confident we will be able to demonstrate significant improvements to them, many of which are already under way.”