St Albans hospital trust moved out of special measures

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 January 2018

St Albans City Hospital. Photo: Danny Loo.

St Albans City Hospital. Photo: Danny Loo.

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The NHS body responsible for St Albans City Hospital has been taken out of special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The condition was lifted off West Herts Hospitals Trust (WHHT), which also manages Watford General and Hemel Hempstead Hospital, after an inspection last summer.

WHHT’s chair Professor Steve Barnett said: “Even the quickest glance makes it clear that we have come a long, long way since being placed in special measures in 2015.

“Events in recent weeks only emphasise the kind of workforce we’re so lucky to have. We won a national award from the Health Service Journal, our medical director was invited to present nationally about our low mortality rates, and staff struggled through snow and ice to keep our services going and our patients safe.

“I am immensely proud of our staff. They never stop wanting to improve, to learn and to deliver the very best care for every patient, every day.

“Our leadership teams, from the board to the wards, have been growing in strength over the last few years and this has played a big part in our move out of special measures.

“I was thrilled to see the volunteer-run Carer Support Team was praised by the CQC for the support they give to the parents and friends of unwell babies and children.”

While the trust was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating, St Albans City Hospital now has no inadequate ratings.

It still requires improvement overall, and inspectors say the hospital needs to improve its minor injuries unit and outpatient and diagnostic imaging.

But the surgery team was rated ‘good’ across all five criteria: safety, leadership, effectiveness, caring, and responsiveness.

WHHT’s chief executive Katie Fisher said: “The improvement is across the board, with three services now being rated as good against all five aspects.

“Achieving this level of consistency has not been easy but it has been done with pride.

“I congratulate staff in maternity services and in children and young people’s services at Watford, and the surgery team at St Albans for their sea of green!”

Visit www.cqc.org.uk for the full report

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