PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission has recommended that Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Foundation Trust remains in special measures.

Also today, the FT regulator Monitor announced it had appointed a “contingency planning team” to consider the trust’s long term future.

The CQC rated the King’s Lynn as “requires improvement” in an inspection report published today. The FT was placed in special measures in October last year, following concerns about the quality of care.

Surgeons

The report drew attention to concerns about surgery at the trust

This week’s report noted improvements but drew attention to concerns about surgery at the trust, and the cancellation of operations because of low capacity and bed availability, management of medical outliers, and ensuring its governance “work[s] more effectively to provide assurance to the board that the services being provided are safe and effective”.

Chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards said: “We saw that staff at [the trust] had been working over the last year to make improvements but clearly the trust still has some way to go before it reaches the required standard.

“That is why I have recommended to Monitor that the trust remains in special measures for a further six months. I hope that, in six-month’s time, the trust will be able to demonstrate enough improvement to review this again.”

Meanwhile, Monitor today announced it had appointed McKinsey and Co to lead a contingency planning team at the trust, following a competitive tendering process. It said the project, which it would fund, would cost £2.15m.

Contingency planning teams are sent to trusts to make recommendations to the foundation trust regulator about options for ensuring sustainable patient services.

It is just the third time Monitor has sent a contingency planning team into a trust since the regime was introduced.

Monitor said in a statement: “Building on work already underway locally, the team will work closely with patients, the trust, local commissioners and clinicians in order to devise solutions to the financial and quality problems faced by the trust.”