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Chief Inspector of Hospitals recommends Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is brought out of special measures

9 June 2014

9 June 2014

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended that Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust comes out of special measures following a Care Quality Commission inspection.

Professor Sir Mike Richards has made the recommendation to health sector regulator Monitor following a CQC inspection which resulted in the trust receiving a rating of ‘Good’.

The trust was inspected in March as part of CQC’s new regime of inspections which now see NHS trusts receiving a rating.

A report due to be published today (Monday, 9 June) shows the trust, where CQC previously found several failings, has made significant improvements in a number of areas.

Sir Mike Richards said: “I am very pleased to be able to recommend that Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust should exit special measures. I formally made my recommendation to Monitor, which regulates foundation trusts, and welcome their announcement today regarding this.

“Our inspection in March found significant improvements in a number of areas and we particularly found maternity services at the trust were outstanding.

“Some improvements are however still needed, so the trust cannot be complacent. But, as the trust has moved forward and made improvements across its services, CQC has confidence in the trust’s leadership to continue to work to make further changes for the good of its patients.”

The trust was placed in to special measures following an inspection by Sir Bruce Keogh and his team in July last year.

Monitor has been overseeing the trust with regard to it being placed in to special measures and has the responsibility for deciding whether or not it should now exit special measures in the wake of CQC’s inspection and Sir Mike’s recommendation.

The trust, which serves a population of around 405,000, has been given an overall rating of ‘Good’ following CQC’s inspection. Full copies of the report on the trust will be available on CQC’s website at: Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

During their visit, inspectors looked at services at Basildon University Hospital and found good practice in a number of areas. The trust was seen to be providing caring, effective, responsive and well led services.

  • The care and treatment of people using maternity services was outstanding.
  • Bereavement services for parents who had lost children were also outstanding.
  • The trust had excellent leadership which was credited with having changed the culture and behaviour of staff.
  • Specialist nursing staff for people living with dementia and those with learning disabilities meant that staff were beginning to support patients effectively.
  • Critical care services were good, patients approaching the end of their lives were well supported and cared for and children’s services were responsive to the needs of patients.

CQC also identified areas where the trust should improve and one where the trust must improve.

  • Basildon Hospital must improve the way medications are stored and recorded. Inspectors found controlled drugs had not been recorded correctly and nutritional drugs that were out of date were also found.

Inspectors will return to check on what progress has been made with regard to those areas highlighted for improvement.


For media enquiries, contact Louise Grifferty, regional communications manager, on 07717 422917 or contact CQC’s press office on 020 7448 9401, during office hours, or, out of hours, on 07917 232 143. For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, is leading significantly larger inspection teams than before, headed up by clinical and other experts including trained members of the public. By the end of 2015, CQC will have inspected all acute NHS Trusts in the country with its new inspection model. Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led?

This report describes our judgement of the overall quality of care provided by this trust. It is based on a combination of what we found when we inspected, information from our ‘Intelligent Monitoring’ system, and information given to us from patients, the public and other organisations.

The Care Quality Commission has already presented its findings to a local Quality Summit, including NHS commissioners, providers, regulators and other public bodies. The purpose of the Quality Summit is to develop a plan of action and recommendations based on the inspection team’s findings.

Trusts exiting special measures:

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was placed in to special measures following a review by Sir Bruce Keogh and his team last year.

The trusts which went to special measures did so because there was one or more serious inadequacy in their performance that would impact on the safety or quality of services patients were receiving and there was a lack of confidence in the organisations’ leadership to be able to respond to the challenge of improvement.

As CQC assesses the organisations that were subject to the Sir Bruce Keogh inspections 12 months on we are looking to confirm what improvement there has been and if the organisation is able to exit special measures.

The two key determining factors as whether an organisation can exit special measure are: Has the leadership of the organisation shown it has tackled the issues facing it and been able to show a demonstrable effect on the performance and therefore improving patient care?

An organisation can exit with areas still requiring improvement but will not be allowed to do so if CQC does not have confidence that the leadership has satisfactorily demonstrated the ability to make or maintain improvement without the full range of special measures support.
As a trust exits we may recommend it to continue being supervised in particular areas and that the TDA or Monitor will provide specific support such as the continuation of a buddying arrangement or transformation director position.  

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.