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Chief Inspector of Hospitals recommends Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust comes out of special measures following improvements in care

9 November 2016
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust exits special measures following a Care Quality Commission inspection.

The trust was placed into special measures following a review by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh in 2013. While some improvements were found at subsequent CQC inspections, it was rated Inadequate overall following an inspection in June 2015 and CQC recommended that the trust should receive the support of the special measures regime for longer.

However, when CQC returned in July 2016, to carry out a focused inspection, the work that had been done to improve services was seen to be making a difference.

As a result, the trust is now rated as Requires Improvement overall, Good for being safe and Requires Improvement for being well-led. Previously it was judged to be Inadequate overall as well as for being safe and well-led. Professor Sir Mike Richards is recommending the trust should exit special measures.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:

“We returned to Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to check on the trust’s progress with areas we highlighted for improvement following our previous inspection in June 2015. Inspectors found sufficient improvement had taken place for the trust’s overall rating to change from Inadequate to Requires Improvement.

“It also means I am now in a position to make a recommendation to NHS Improvement to say the trust should come out of special measures.

“Special measures is designed to provide intensive support to struggling trusts and Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust clearly gained from the special measures regime and the support it provided.

“During our inspection we found that wards and clinical areas were clean and there were systems to monitor and manage the risk of the spread of infection. There were systems to ensure records, medicines management and maintenance of equipment was given priority.

“Although we saw high numbers of nursing staff vacancies on medical wards the number of staff was found to be appropriate to ensure the needs of patients were met. We also found that, since our last inspection, the outpatient service had made significant improvements. Most notably improvement had taken place with regard to the review of patient outcomes and reducing the number of overdue appointments. However, inspectors found some concerns regarding staffing and booking arrangements for ophthalmology outpatient clinics.

“Overall we found that patient care and treatment was planned and delivered in line with best practice.

“The trust’s staff and leadership should be proud of their achievement so far and they know what to do now to ensure further improvement takes place. We will continue to monitor the trust and this will include further inspections.”

Inspectors found examples of outstanding practice at the trust, which included:

  • The trust demonstrated significant improvements in the management of the deteriorating patient and treatment of sepsis. Staff identified and responded appropriately to changing risks to patients. Where patients met the trust criteria for sepsis screening, they were being appropriately screened.
  • A medical care pathway that had been implemented for patients with a minor orthopaedic injuries, who also had other conditions or diseases, was seen to be working positively.

However, there were areas where the trust has been told it must make improvements including:

  • Ensuring staff understand the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in relation to their roles and responsibilities.

This inspection focused on looking at the safety and effectiveness of emergency and urgent care services and the safety of maternity and outpatient services at Kings Mill and Newark Hospitals.

Full reports including ratings of all core services are available on this website.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was formed in 2001 and achieved foundation trust status in 2007. It is the main acute hospital trust for the local population, providing care for people across north and mid Nottinghamshire, as well as parts of Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

This report follows a focused inspection on the quality of services provided at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. At the time of our inspection a partnership with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) was expected to take place. A decision was made after CQC’s inspection that this would no longer happen to allow both organisations to concentrate on their own operational priorities.

However, CQC continues to work in partnership with NUH on the development of clinical pathways and sharing best practice.

CQC inspection teams include a range of clinical and other experts including experts by experience.

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?

You can find out more about CQC’s approach to inspection on our website at

For further information about the special measures regime for NHS trusts, please visit:

Registered providers of health and social care services are required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. For further information on the requirement for providers to prominently display their CQC ratings, please visit:

The 18 trusts that are currently in special measures are:

  • The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wye Valley NHS Trust
  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • West Hertfordshire NHS Trust
  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Cambridge University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
  • London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The 13 trusts which have been taken out of special measures are:

  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (mental health trust)
  • Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • East Lancashire NHS Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals (now dissolved, but part of Frimley Health)
  • North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

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.