The must read stories on hsj.co.uk from Tuesday

Worries at Worcestershire

A trust where patients died in the corridors last winter has been rated inadequate again, with the Care Quality Commission suggesting outside support will be required “for the foreseeable future”.

The CQC’s inspection report has revealed a long list of failings at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, where performance, particularly in emergency care, has continued to worsen since it was placed in special measures in December 2015.

Last winter was particularly difficult for Worcestershire Acute’s A&E services, which reported three patient trolley deaths. The trust was singled out by health secretary Jeremy Hunt in January as the trust the Department of Health was “most worried about”.

HSJ revealed earlier this month that a preliminary CQC report had identified widespread problems at the trust including a “culture” of patients being kept in corridors, medication errors and poor infection control.

In its final report, the CQC recommended the trust remains in special measures for at least another three to six months to allow the new executive team to push through “urgent improvements”.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the chief inspector of hospitals, said it was clear the trust “will require continued support for the foreseeable future”.

Trust chief executive Michelle McKay said she was disappointed but the trust accepted the report.

Ms McKay, who joined the trust in March as one of four new senior appointments at the trust since September, said more stable leadership should help drive improvements. She said: “We want all our patients to get the best care possible and regret that this isn’t currently always happening, but we’re determined to put things right.”

Former SoS joins STP

A former health secretary has been brought in to chair Norfolk and Waveney STP, amid concerns about its progress and credibility.

Patricia Hewitt, who was Labour’s health secretary under Tony Blair between 2005 and 2007, has been appointed independent chair.

One senior NHS source familiar with the development told HSJ the appointment was a “move to try and bang heads together”.

Other STPs have also appointed independent chairs to act as “honest brokers”. NHS Confederation chair Stephen Dorrell, another former health secretary, was appointed to the role for Birmingham and Solihull STP in November.