You are here

Chief Inspector of Hospitals recommends that United Hospitals Lincolnshire NHS Trust comes out of special measures

27 March 2015
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has recommended the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is brought out of Special Measures following the Care Quality Commission’s most recent inspection.

Richards, has recommended the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is brought out of Special Measures following the Care Quality Commission's most recent inspection.

The trust was placed in to Special Measures following an inspection by Sir Bruce Keogh’s team in 2013 and Professor Sir Mike Richards said the trust should remain in Special Measures following a CQC inspection in April last year.

But an inspection by CQC in February this year found many improvements had been made leading to Sir Mike's recommendation that the trust should now come out of 'Special Measures'.

While United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has the same overall rating of 'Requires Improvement' CQC's inspection found significant improvements had been made to individual services across the trust. Many of these services' ratings have now changed from 'Requires Improvement' on the previous inspection to 'Good' as a result.

For example, in 2014 CQC rated accident and emergency services at both Pilgrim Hospital and Grantham and District Hospital as 'Requires improvement'. Accident and emergency services at both hospitals are now rated as 'Good'.

At County Louth Hospital the hospital, its surgery and outpatients services were all rated as 'Requires Improvement' previously. All three ratings have now changed to 'Good' with CQC's most recent inspection.

Outpatient services at Lincoln County Hospital are still rated as 'Inadequate' but inspectors found some improvement with regard to this service and the trust has given assurance that this is something it is working to improve further.

Following its inspection in April 2014 the trust was rated as 'Requires Improvement' with regard to whether it was safe, effective, responsive and well-led. It was rated as 'Good' with regard to whether services were caring.

The trust is now rated as 'Good' with regard to whether services are effective, well-led and caring and 'Requires Improvement' with regard to whether services are safe and responsive.

Full reports for the trust will be published on CQC's website today at the following link:

Across the trust, the inspection team found areas of outstanding practice which included:

  • People who had complained to the trust are invited to take part in recruitment and selection processes for posts in the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team.

The trust still has some improvements to make and has been told that it must take action in the following areas:

  • The trust must ensure there sufficient qualified and experienced staff to care to for patients' needs.
  • The trust must ensure a system is in place to monitor and address patients awaiting outpatient appointments.
  • Governance procedures, in surgical services and outpatients department at County Louth Hospital, need to be embedded.

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

"This trust has worked hard to achieve the level of change we witnessed in its services. Our inspectors found many improvements had been made and a number of areas of good practice, including the increased engagement between the trust board and medical staff. This is why I have recommended that the trust is now brought out of Special Measures.

"There are however areas where the trust still needs to make improvements and its leadership knows what it must now do to ensure further change takes place and existing improvements are maintained.

"People deserve to be treated in services which are safe, caring, effective, well-led, and responsive to their needs and this is what we look at when we carry out our inspections.

"The leadership at the trust has given us assurances that it will make the necessary improvements and our inspectors will return to check on whether the necessary changes have taken place. Meanwhile we continue to monitor the trust."

The report which CQC publishes today is based on a combination of its inspection findings, information from CQC's Intelligent Monitoring system, and information provided by patients, the public and other organisations.


For media enquiries contact Louise Grifferty, regional engagement manager on 07717 422917 or CQC’s press office on 0207 4489401.

For general enquiries, call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 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?


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.


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.