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Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust released from special measures

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust released from special measures

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:19pm 6th April 2020.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has been released from special measures as it fights the Covid-19 crisis.

RCHT was rated as 'inadequate' by the Care Quality Commission following an inspection back in October 2017.

Now that has been lifted following a "journey of improvement and progress" over the past two-and-a-half years.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have agreed the decision in line with a recommendation made in February.

Kate Shields, Chief Executive at RCHT, praised the hospitals' staff and thanked them for their 'incredible efforts.'

"Everyone is working very hard to prepare for Covid-19 and this news is a real boost for them and our community.  

"It is testimony to the commitment and dedication that everyone in every department at RCHT has shown over the last couple of years to improve the health care we provide for the people of Cornwall. 

"We want to be the best we can be to make that care brilliant."

Kate Shields, RCHT Chief Executive

The decision was made after a recommendation from Professor Ted Baker, the Care Quality Commission's Chief Inspector of Hospitals following the last CQC inspection at the end of last year. 

He praised the RCHT's 'journey of improvement and progress' over the past two and a half years, noting in particular:

  • Strong, cohesive leadership from the board with a clear understanding of the challenges facing the trust and vastly improved visibility and approachability for staff. 
  • Strengthened governance and oversight processes, with clearer ward to board reporting supported by an internal restructure from four divisions into seven care groups. 
  • A vastly improved culture of support, openness, candour and wellbeing, with a strong focus on safety and quality. 
  • Development programmes for leaders across the organisation to build their skills and enable them to tackle improvements locally. 
  • A new 'Being Brilliant' strategy with three key objectives: Brilliant care; Brilliant People; Brilliant Improvement. Staff had really bought into this concept and they were enthused by and engaged with the programme. 

"RCHT has amazing staff who have embraced the changes brought by our improvement programme to provide Brilliant Care. Coming out of Special Measures is proof of that collective effort.   

"They have gone above and beyond to make the Trust a better place to work in and be cared for.  

"I thank them very much for the changes they have embraced, they are making a difference to those we all love and care for the people of Cornwall."

Mairi Mclean, Chair of RCHT

Health and Wellbeing Show

"This is a real achievement for everyone at Royal Cornwall Hospitals. Turning around a whole trust, with all its complexities, isn’t quick or easy. But we’ve seen unwavering commitment at every level to improving care for patients.

"Moving out of special measures is a tribute to the leadership team who’ve developed a collective vision for improvement and to staff who’ve embraced change. The result is a better place both to be cared for and to work.

"We know there’s a lot more to do, so we’ll continue our support for RCHT as it strives to make further progress at the heart of Cornwall’s health and care system."

Elizabeth O’Mahony, Regional Director of NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South West

"We are delighted for Kate, her team, and all of the staff at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust. NHS England and NHS Improvement’s decision acknowledges two-and-a-half years of hard work, commitment and dedication.

"It also echoes last month’s recommendation by the CQC which highlighted the significant improvements that have been made in the areas of maternity, end of life care and outpatients.

"The Trust should be rightly proud that the vision by its senior leaders to support, celebrate and develop staff, which has improved standards of care and the working culture at its hospitals, has been praised at the highest level.

"We know that by working together better we are ultimately offering the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly greater confidence that they will receive the right care and support in the right place, at the right time. We look forward to continuing to work with the Trust to provide this for our whole community."

Helen Charlesworth-May, joint accountable officer for public health and care for Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group and Cornwall Council

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