Struggling King’s Mill to be taken over by high-performing Nottingham hospital trust

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King’s Mill Hospital will be taken over by the trust that runs Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre, it has been announced.

It emerged today (Monday February 15) that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which also runs Mansfield Community Hospital and Newark Hospital, has chosen ‘Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust as its preferred long-term partner’, following a damning watchdog inspection last year.

The Nottingham-based trust, which also runs City Hospital, was competing with Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to take over the management of King’s Mill.

A spokesman said the decision was based on detailed evaluation of proposals from both Nottingham and Derby trusts, focusing on the best way to rapidly improve quality at under-fire King’s Mill, in Sutton.

Newark and Sherwood NHS Foundation Trust also considered safety and sustainability of services, benefits to staffing; leadership capacity and financial impact.

Peter Herring (pictured), Interim Chief Executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals said: “We believe this partnership will give us the best opportunity to move forward with a fresh start to improve and deliver the highest quality services in a sustainable way for our patients.

“We look forward to working with Nottingham University Hospitals and creating a new larger, combined organisation with them.

“Ahead of a formal transaction to join the two trusts, the team at Nottingham University Hospitals will give us some immediate support to help us continue to make clinical improvements.

“In the medium term, the partnership will bring us a stable leadership team and improvements in governance.

“In the longer term, the new organisation will bring stronger opportunities for clinically and financially sustainable services for our local communities.

“It will also help with the recruitment and retention of staff, and will enable us to provide better hospital services and regional specialist services for local people.

“We would like to thank Derby Teaching Hospitals for the hard work they put into developing their very credible proposal. We look forward to continuing to work together with them and other health and social care partners to deliver safe, high quality care for our local communities.”

It was felt that a partnership with Nottingham would offer the best long-term benefits to patients.

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

Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revealed that Sherwood Forest Hospitals had failed to improve in all but one of the 18 targets set in 2013 - while the trust was performing significantly worse in many areas.