Worcestershire NHS Trust getting worse according to latest report

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been told it must improve Credit: ITV News Central

The hospital trust labelled as one of the worst in the country by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has been told it has six months to improve or face serious sanctions.

It follows a series of inspections at Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust in November last year when serious concerns were raised about patient safety.

In January, hospital inspectors from the Care Quality Commission issued the trust with a Section 29a notice which is one of the most serious warnings available. It said that if improvements were not made by 8th March 2017, the trust faced administration.

However, today the Care Quality Commission have extended the deadline to the trust as a new executive board has come in with the new Chief Executive unable to take up her post until the end of March.

Professor Mike Richards, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals said:

"We found a number of serious problems when we inspected the services run by the Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust. Rather than getting better, our latest inspection shows a noticeable decline in ratings."

Prof Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals
Concerns were raised about patient safety following a series of inspections Credit: ITV News Central

Professor Richards, who is due to retire at the end of the month, has recommended that the management team be allowed an extra three to six months to |"establish in order to drive improvement." Some of the new board have taken up their posts as recently as last month.

In response to the Care Quality Commission report, which now also sees Kidderminster Hospital rated as inadequate, the new Chief Executive Michelle McKay said:

"We are disappointed with the CQC's findings, but we fully accept them. I am sorry our patients, their families and carer have been let down."

The report does acknowledge that care throughout the organisation is rated as "good".

"Our staff continue to deliver compassionate care to the thousands of patients who use our services every day."

Michelle McKay, Chief Exec, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

The Worcestershire Royal Hospital was named and shamed by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, earlier this year over claims of 36 hour waits in A&E for patients being treated on trolleys in corridors.

Two deaths in the department were also subject to an investigationas was the death of an 8-year-old boy from Redditch.

The Trust also runs the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and Kidderminster Hospital which have both been rated as inadequate.