Essex

Colchester Hospital partnership with Ipswich to tackle 'unsafe practices'

Colchester Hospital
Image caption A recent inspection found "unsafe" practices at Colchester Hospital were placing patients at risk of harm

The chief inspector of hospitals says he does "not have confidence in the ability of the trust's current board" to turn around a struggling hospital.

Colchester Hospital in Essex was put in special measures two years ago.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors found "consistently... poor and unsafe practices" and believe a "radical solution" is needed.

Colchester's chief executive said the trust would continue to focus on improving patient care and quality.

The hospital will now enter a partnership with Ipswich Hospital to deliver safe care.

The CQC's chief inspector of hospitals, Prof Sir Mike Richards, acknowledged the chief executive of Colchester University NHS Foundation Trust Frank Sims had "only been in post a short time".

Image caption Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Prof Sir Mike Richards, said he supported a partnership between Colchester and Ipswich

Prof Richards said the partnership with Ipswich offered "a better route to bring about the improvements that patients urgently need to see at Colchester".

Patients' group Healthwatch Essex said it was "optimistic" about the partnership, which was the "logical next step".

Mr Sims said: "Improving care and quality to ensure we provide outstanding care, consistently for all patients at all times, will continue to be at the heart of everything we do".

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