PERFORMANCE: A specialist trust that warned it was ‘financially unviable’ has been rated as good by the Care Quality Commission.

The regulator, which visited Liverpool Women’s Foundation Trust in February, said the organisation’s staffing and risk managment systems had improved significantly since last year, when concerns were raised in a previous inspection.


The CQC highlighted areas of outstanding practice in the trust’s neonatal unit

It also highlighted areas of outstanding practice in the neonatal unit, which employs an effective system to benchmark practice and outcomes against other similar units in the UK and the US, and was the first in the country to introduce the HeRo System, to provide enhanced monitoring of babies’ hearts.

A strategic plan published last year said the trust was unsustainable in its current form, and its future is being considered as part of Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group’s Healthy Liverpool Programme. A trust report earlier this year deemed it “financially unviable”.

The £102m turnover trust has forecast a deficit of £7.5m this year, and is facing costs of £35m in relation to a clinical negligence claim, made through a group action.

The trust has accepted liability for the claims made by about 360 women, who said mistakes by uro-gynaecologist George Rowland between 2001 and 2008 had made their incontinence worse. The trust’s April board papers said it was liable for the whole costs, following a “revised premium calculation methodology” adopted by the NHS Litigation Authority.

The CQC report said: “The trust was open about its financial challenges and was working with commissioners and other key stakeholders to seek solutions that would improve its financial position and secure the future sustainability of services.”