NHS Trusts Given Licence Conditions

"Further Urgent Improvements" Needed


Two hospital trusts need "further urgent improvements" to keep their registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after a series of scandals, it has been announced.

The CQC has so far granted licences to 66 NHS trusts, allowing them to operate under a tougher regulatory system, but Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had conditions placed on them.

Although both have foundation trust status, which is supposed to be an NHS mark of excellence, concerns have been raised about the hospitals' safety and quality of care.

It was announced earlier this month that an expert team would sent in to improve Milton Keynes' failing maternity unit, following the deaths of two babies in June 2007 and May 2009. The trust failed to respond quickly enough to recommendations made in 2008 and January 2010.

Mid Staffordshire was found to be "routinely" neglecting patients and had "systemic failings", according to an independent inquiry in February.

Last March the Healthcare Commission - predecessor to the CQC - announced the trust's appalling standard put patients at risk, and revealed there were between 400 and 1,200 more deaths than would be expected in a three-year period from 2005 to 2008.

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Julie Lewis from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “This story again underlines the concern which many share about the status of "foundation" trusts and whether being given such status means anything at all, in view of the lack of excellence repeatedly highlighted by some foundation trusts.”