NHS commissioners welcome positive report on hospital trust

NHS commissioners in east London have welcomed news that the area’s largest hospital trust has been removed from special measures by healthcare regulators. 

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Newham, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets say the move reflects the hard work and professionalism of the management and staff at Barts Health NHS Trust and is excellent news for patients in the area. 

Barts Health was visited in September and October 2018 by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which rated the majority of its services as ‘good’ in a report published today. Inspectors also praised the trust’s staff and services for being caring, effective and well-led following a major inspection of Newham, the Royal London and Whipps Cross hospitals. 

As a result, the CQC recommended Barts Health should be removed from special measures after four years – and this was accepted by NHS Improvement, which oversees health providers. 

Although Barts Health is still rated “requires improvement” overall, the CQC report acknowledges the “real, consistent progress” made by the trust since its visit in November 2015. 

In a joint statement, Dr Muhammad Naqvi, Chair of Newham CCG, Dr Anwar Khan, Chair of Waltham Forest CCG, and Sir Sam Everington, Chair of Tower Hamlets CCG, said: 

“We are pleased to see the progress made by Barts Health in addressing the concerns raised by the CQC in 2015. Since then, we’ve worked closely with the trust to ensure the necessary improvements are made in relation to patient safety, organisational culture and governance. 

“Moving out of special measures is a significant step forward, and credit rightly goes to the trust’s leadership team and staff for their professionalism and hard work. 

“We will continue to support the trust to make further progress while ensuring areas requiring extra attention – including maternity services in Newham – are improved in line with the CQC’s recommendations. Our aim, alongside Barts Health, is to ensure that people across east London receive the safe, compassionate, high quality care they deserve.” 

Jane Milligan, Accountable Officer for the seven north east London CCGs and executive lead for the East London Health and Care Partnership (ELHCP), said: 

“We are pleased to see that the CQC has acknowledged the progress made by the trust, as we know how hard everyone at the trust has worked to reach this point. 

“Barts Health is a key partner in enabling us to achieve our priorities – not only alongside the three CCGs but across the whole of north east London within ELHCP. 

“We will continue to work closely with, and support, the trust in our shared drive to deliver long term, sustainable improvements in health and care services for local people.”