King's Mill bounces back from special measures

Sherwood Forest Hospitals' Peter Herring.
Sherwood Forest Hospitals' Peter Herring.

The chief executive of King’s Mill Hospital says they are now aiming to become ‘outstanding’, following a three-year battle to get out of special measures.

Peter Herring, the newly-appointed boss at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, praised the hard work and dedication of employees, and said the news meant it would now be easier to recruit quality staff in future.

King's Mill was placed in Special Measures by the CQC after mortality rates was found too high.

King's Mill was placed in Special Measures by the CQC after mortality rates was found too high.

Speaking after NHS Improvements - which is responsible for hospital trusts in England - decision to lift the trust out of special measures, Mr Herring said: “This is good news for the staff because they’ve gone through some very difficult times over the past few years.

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“We have still got some way to go but we have very strong foundations to build on.

“We want this trust to be ‘outstanding’, Once today’s celebrations are over, we will turn our attention to building on the improvements we’ve made and addressing our other top priorities, which include recruiting to a significant number of nursing and other clinical roles, establishing a stable leadership team, and engaging with staff to ensure we deliver the very best care possible within our available resources.”

NHS Improvement removed Sherwood Forest Hospitals from ‘special measures’ following the publication of an inspection report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which took place in July.

Last year, the Chad revealed that King’s Mill was in a worse state than when it was first placed in special measures in 2013

But following the most recent inspection, King’s Mill is now rated ‘good’ for safety, which has helped raise it’s overall rating from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’.

CQC Inspectors visited the trust this summer to look specifically at the areas flagged as being of concern in their previous inspection in July 2015.

Inspectors found that significant improvements have been made and noted a number of areas of outstanding practice, including the management of sepsis.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals is now in the top 30 trusts in the country for the management of the potentially fatal infection, Mr Herring said.

“We cannot stand still and there is yet more to be done,” he added. “I am immensely proud of what staff have achieved.

“They deserve to celebrate today’s news and take this opportunity to reflect on everything they have contributed to improving the quality of care over the past year.”

Trusts will still work in partnership, despite formal merger being axed

Despite the announcement that Sherwood Forest Hospitals will no longer formally merge with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust - which run’s the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital - Mr Herring said that he is keen to maintain close working relationships.

He said: “We remain committed to developing a strategic partnership with Nottingham University Hospitals, and I would like to thank colleagues for their support over the past six months. “Both parties have benefited from joint working and shared learning, and the excellent work of clinicians from both trusts has helped support a number of the improvements we have made here at Sherwood Forest Hospitals.”

A joint statement issued by both trusts, stated that they are working with NHS Improvement, the regulator, to determine how the partnership will progress over the next few months and beyond.

It stated that “ The main reason for this decision is the requirement for each organisation to focus on operational challenges.”