The NHS Trust Development Authority has appointed improvement directors to two trusts struggling with performance and leadership issues.

  • Extra support appointed to four trusts
  • New improvement directors sent to two of the trusts
  • TDA says trusts in special measures have improved mortality rates

The regulatory body for non-foundation trusts, which will soon be merged with FT regulator Monitor under the name NHS Improvement, said in board papers it is “broadening [its] support for challenged trusts”.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals is one of the trusts recieving more support from the TDA

Improvement directors have been sent to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, to address “a range of quality and leadership challenges”, and to Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust due to “challenges including emergency access and organisational culture”.

Marie-Noelle Orzel, who was previously an improvement director at North Cumbria University Hospitals and East Lancashire Hospitals, has been appointed to Worcestershire.

“Support arrangements” are being put in place for Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust and East Sussex Healthcare Trust after poor recent inspection reports from the Care Quality Commission.

Mid Essex received a “requires improvement” rating from the CQC in April. East Sussex was rated “inadequate” in March and its chief executive resigned earlier this month.

There are five NHS trusts currently in special measures. Four of the five non-FTs originally placed in the regime by Sir Bruce Keogh in 2013 have now left.

The paper presented to the TDA board last week said: “While challenging and resource intensive, there is evidence to suggest that the approaches to improvement and support which underpin the special measures regime can offer significant benefit.

“All trusts reinspected to date have shown significant improvement since entering the regime, with four of the five NHS trusts originally placed in special measures having now exited the regime.

“In addition, evidence published by Dr Foster demonstrates a consistent reduction in mortality rates for NHS trusts in special measures.”

The five NHS trusts still in special measures are:

  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust;
  • Barts Health Trust;
  • North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust;
  • Wye Valley Trust; and
  • Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust.

TDA strategy director Ralph Coulbeck said: “Supporting NHS trusts to develop and improve is central to everything we have done and will continue to do. With four trusts leaving special measures and others showing significant improvement, the way in which we support challenged trusts has been shown to deliver improvements for patients. 

“The way in which we do this is flexible and very much tailored to the specific challenges that trusts face – something we are able to do because of the way we develop relationships and support trusts on a local level.”