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NHSE sends improvement director into struggling acute trust

PUBLISHED

Regulators have sent an improvement director into a North West acute trust amid multiple allegations of poor care and ‘cover up’ across different specialties.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust, which spent 18 months in special measures midway through the last decade, is again now the subject of significant regulatory intervention from NHS England.

The regulator has appointed Simon Bennett as a board-level improvement director, which comes after he undertook a similar assignment at the struggling Stockport FT.

It comes amid ongoing external investigations into the trust’s urology and trauma and orthopaedics specialties, where serious allegations have been made about attempts to cover up poor care.

The trust has a troubled history of care failings and regulatory intervention, including a major maternity scandal which culminated in the Kirkup Inquiry in the first half of the 2010s, and being placed in special measures in 2014.

It was widely recognised that positive progress was subsequently made to implement the inquiry recommendations and improve services, which culminated in the trust exiting special measures in late 2015, and being rated “good” by the CQC in early 2017. However, the recent allegations and investigations have again brought regulatory intervention.

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Source: HSJ, 20 April 2021

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