REELING from being put into special measures, Wye Valley NHS Trust is ready to fight for its future as a stand alone care provider for the county.

Trust chief executive Richard Beeken said that future could be built on the efforts of staff saluted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the way they work under sustained pressure every day.

The CQC put the trust into special measures this week citing specific, long running concerns about A&E services and medical care at Hereford County Hospital.

While accepting the report, Mr Beeken denies that its findings define the trust as a "failing organisation".

Special measures status meant the trust could now receive the support it needs to maintain and improve services, he said.

Already, the trust has been told that it will partner with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust to streamline services and implement improvement.

The trust will also be required to publish a plan detailing all the actions to achieve improvements, with oversight from the NHS TDA and CQC.

But Mr Beeken is adamant that the trust's future can still lie in its own hands, saying the focus was fixed on alternatives to merger with another trust or outright acquisition.



Winter set to bring a 'perfect storm'

Hereford Times:

THE trust faces a “perfect storm” this winter with a budget deficit of more than £5 million, growing emergency demand and the loss of its chief operating officer.

Pressures on A&E and bed availability at the County already far exceed last year. Over a single day last month there were 57 emergency admissions over a 24 hour period – just under one third of its total adult bed base.

Work continues on a resilience plan for winter that can also improve performance towards key targets. Those not met over August include four-hour waits in A&E, ambulance handovers, and cancelled operations.

The resilience plan has gone to NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) for scrutiny and approval.

Meanwhile, COO Neil Doverty, is leaving to become COO to Peterborough and Stamford NHS Foundation Trust.

The search for his successor and an interim to ensure continuity is underway.
With A&E demand staying well above planned levels, the impact on elective services is said to be “profound”.

There has been a repeat marginal fail against the 18-week referral to treatment target, high levels of surgery cancellations and a high number of bed days lost in surgery.

Additional day case elective beds have been earmarked at the County next month to cut the number of surgical patients facing late cancellations.

The financial position remains difficult, with the reported month five budget deficit at £5.38 million - £1.38 million behind plan.
It’s likely the trust won’t be able to deliver the £9m deficit agreed in the financial plan.

Read the report in full:

Problems were already mounting for the trust