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NHS trusts tell their stories of improvement

14 June 2017
  • Public

What do NHS trusts do to turn themselves around? Our collection of case studies on eight trusts – published today – looks at the steps each one took on its own improvement journey.

Drawing on interviews with staff, patients and patient-representative groups and organisations, Driving improvement tells each improvement story from the perspective the people most closely involved. We talked to chief executives, non-executives, and senior and frontline clinical staff, as well as members of local Healthwatch, Overview and Scrutiny Committees and patient councils.

Eight journeys

Each of the eight trusts is one that has progressed from a low CQC rating to a higher one – or has left special measures, the package of support designed to help trusts with significant challenges. The eight trusts we spoke to are:

  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Wexham Park Hospital
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

Key themes

Many of the stories point to the importance of forging a strong connection between senior leaders and frontline staff. Shared vision and values, staff engagement and empowerment and patient involvement all emerge as crucial elements of the improvement journey.

Inspiring stories

Our Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards commented: "Real change does not happen overnight – the improvements made by each trust are a testament to the time, effort and determination of staff and local partners. I hope their stories will encourage and inspire others in their own improvement journey."

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, said: "Our mission is to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world. A crucial part of this is the CQC inspection regime which has proved that when challenges are highlighted transparently, the NHS can make dramatic improvements in the quality of care it gives to patients."

"I want to congratulate all the trusts on a remarkable turnaround, and I hope others will be inspired to put these important lessons into practice at their own hospitals."

Last updated:
14 June 2017