Birmingham & Black Country

Walsall Manor Hospital taken out of special measures

Walsall Manor Hospital
Image caption Walsall Hospital NHS Trust was put in special measures in 2016

A hospital condemned by inspectors as "unsafe" three years ago has been taken out of special measures.

However, Walsall Manor Hospital still requires improvement despite making changes, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust must still address several issues, particularly in surgery and critical care, but overall care was deemed "outstanding".

The trust said its upgraded rating would give patients "more confidence".

Inspectors recommended the hospital be put in special measures in January 2016 over concerns about staffing and workloads in the emergency and maternity departments led to care falling below expected standards.

'Exceptional work'

Birthing restrictions were also imposed after inspectors found the unit "inadequate" and struggling to cope with demand. These were lifted in April this year, allowing women from the wider region to elect to give birth there.

It was again rated as requiring improvement in 2017, but after its latest inspection in February and March this year, the CQC said it was recommending to the government the trust is taken out of special measures.

Professor Ted Baker, CQC chief inspector of hospitals, said there was "kindness, empathy and reassurance" in all staff interactions with patients and inspectors found exceptional work in community health services and sexual health services.

However, he said a shortage of nursing staff in surgery had led to an increase in cancelled procedures, people were at risk of being exposed to avoidable harm because mandatory staff training, including for sepsis, was not always completed and patient records were not always comprehensive enough.

The CQC said it would continue to monitor the trust, and would return to carry out further inspections.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said the decision to upgrade the rating was an important step for the organisation and an "incredibly proud day" for staff.

"It will help with recruitment, it will help with retention and critically, it'll help the people of Walsall have more confidence in the services that we provide," said Richard Beeken, its chief executive.

"Our ambition is to become a trust that is rated outstanding overall by 2022 and together we're confident of achieving this," he added.

Professor Stephen Powis, National NHS Medical Director, said the decision to remove the trust from special measures reflected the improvements that had been made, but there was "more work still to do".

"We will continue to work closely with the trust to ensure that further improvements are made and sustained," he said.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites