Updated 6 November 2017
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.
In November 2013, health sector regulator Monitor put the Trust into special measures.
In January 2015 CQC downgraded Colchester General Hospital and Trust to "inadequate". Essex County Hospital was graded "requires improvement" after the CQC's 2014 inspection.
Our staff have been congratulated today after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced that staff have significantly improved the care they are providing.
During its most recent inspection in July, the CQC found the majority of the Trust's services were 'Good' and none were 'Inadequate', an achievement which is being hailed as a turning point in its recent history.
As a result of the improvements, NHS Improvement has removed the Trust from the special measures regime which has brought very significant scrutiny of its management and performance over the last four years.
The Trust has now been given an overall rating of 'Requires Improvement' with three quarters of the 40 areas inspected now graded as "Good".
Dr Kathy McLean, Executive Medical Director at NHS Improvement, said: "I am delighted to be able to make this announcement and every single member of staff who has shown real commitment to the quality of care should be rightly proud of their achievements. This has been a long journey for the Trust and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate staff for the significant improvements in care that the people served by the Trust should now experience. There is of course much work still to do to ensure that patient services are the very best they can be. We will continue to work closely with the Trust to ensure that the improvements highlighted in the CQC report are sustained and the recommendations for further improvement are taken forward."
Read the CQC statement here.
Professor Ted Baker, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: "I am very pleased to be able to recommend that the Trust exits special measures. When we returned to conduct our inspection we found considerable improvements had taken place. We found a strong leadership team, which engaged positively with a staff that was committed to ensuring change took place and we witnessed significant improvements across all of the Trust's services."
Read the NHS Improvement statement here.
Read our full statement here.
Read health minister Phillip Dunne's letter to staff.
On 25 July the CQC will visit Colchester for three days to assess the quality of our services. They will speak to patients and the public, visit wards and clinics and talk to staff about the care they provide.
Read the latest Special Measures Quality Improvement Programme 2016-17 Update (pictured), published 7 December 2016, by clicking the image.
On 17 May 2016 Nick Hulme was appointed as Chief Executive of our Trust and David White was appointed Chairman (see below).
A diagnostic phase commenced to best determine the urgent priorities to be addressed. A plan for improvement is expected to be developed which will supersede the current Quality Improvement programme and drive forward quality of care.
Over the last four weeks, Nick Hulme has spent as much time as possible meeting Trust staff, visiting wards and speaking to patients.
Along with regular meetings with the CQC and NHS Improvement, this is helping shape the key priority areas that we need to deliver against in order to uphold the promises of safety, quality and timeliness that we make to every one of our patients every day.
The Trust must ensure that we deliver these promises in a consistent and sustainable way and provide strong evidence and assurance of the improvements to our patients and our regulators.
The Chairman and Chief Executive of our Trust today announced they were leaving the organisation.
Alan Rose and Frank Sims said they were standing down to help accelerate a long-term partnership between the Trust and The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.
The Colchester and Ipswich trusts have been working collaboratively since the beginning of the year and on 28 April 2016 NHS Improvement and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) jointly recommended ( read more here) they set up a long-term partnership as the only way of securing services for patients long into the future.
Alan and Frank will be replaced with immediate effect by David White and Nick Hulme who are the Chair and Chief Executive respectively of The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and who will also continue in those roles.
Latest Improvement Plan Performance Dashboard, pictured, can be found every week on our Improvements page.
England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has published a report on the quality of care provided at Colchester General Hospital.
CQC carried out an inspection at the hospital in April 2016 to look specifically at areas of concern from the previous inspection and to review any improvements. It focussed on a selection of inpatient wards and the emergency department and the inspection team also interviewed the senior management team.
The areas looked at were highlighted as being of concern during CQC's inspection in September 2015. An extension of special measures status was issued as a result of that inspection and this gave the trust a deadline of March 2016, by which it was expected to demonstrate sustainable improvements.
Inspectors carried out this inspection to check on whether significant improvements had been made.
Download and read the full CQC press release.
Chief Executive Nick Hulme (pictured on the right) issued a "heartfelt apology" following publication, while Trust Chair David White (pictured on the left), who, like Mr Hulme, joined the Trust in May 2016, said: "This report for me is a watershed...". You can read that statement here.
Download the full CQC report of the hospital inspection in April 2016.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) made an unannounced inspection on 4th and 5th April 2016 to look specifically at the safety and caring elements of the Surgery, Medical care and End of Life care services, which were some of the key areas of concern from the September 2015 inspection. An inspection of the Emergency Department was also included, due to an increased number of complaints from the public, and concerns about the Trust's performance.
Initial findings were shared with the Chief Executive, Medical Director, Director of Nursing and the Improvement Director from the Trust on 4th and 5th April 2016 . Two "Section 31" notices were issued. One of the Section 31 notices was issued to the Emergency Department (ED) to ensure that patients attending ED are streamed to appropriate patient pathways. In addition there will be a sufficient number and suitably qualified skilled and experienced nurses to support the streaming of patients into these pathways.
The second Section 31 notice was issued to the Surgical Theatre department to ensure the Trust operates effective audit and monitoring system that provides accurate assurance that the safer surgery checklist is being consistently carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation Safer Surgery Checklist (2016). The Trust continues to provide weekly evidence and updates to CQC on compliance (see our Improvements page, updated every week.
On 13 April 2016 the Chairman, the executives, the non-executive directors and the divisional directors were interviewed to gain an understanding of the progress made at Board level to date. While senior staff had been able to describe improvements made in response to CQC's previous inspection, it was deemed by the CQC that the Trust had not taken a sufficiently proactive approach to addressing wider issues in the Trust.
The CQC concluded that the Trust could not continue in special measures or in its current form. A long-term partnership between our Trust and The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust was recommended jointly by the CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals and the Chief Executive of NHS Improvement as the only way of securing services for patients long into the future.
Read the statement issued by NHS Improvement on our CQC archive page for 2014-2016.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and encourage care services to improve. The CQC monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publish what we find to help people choose care.
2013: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued a report on 5 November 2013, following an inspection at our Trust, regarding the quality of some services for cancer patients. The Trust was subsequently placed into special measures by Monitor in November 2013. See below.
2014: The Keogh team returned in February 2014 for a follow-up assurance review of their original visit. Again, more here.
2014: Following a detailed CQC inspection in May came publication in July of three quality reports by the CQC.
2014: CQC carries out unannounced inspections the A&E department and Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU) in November and December 2014.
2014: Retrospective Review of Cancer Care report, published in December, concluded that there was no evidence of systematic data manipulation at the Trust. And the independent investigation published by Monitor ("Troop/Taylor-Brown report") found no evidence that staff were instructed to manipulate cancer data.
2015: CQC publish their report in January 2015 into A&E and EAU. Colchester General Hospital and Trust downgraded to "inadequate" (Essex County Hospital remains "requires improvement").
2015:CQC unannounced inspections in July 2015.
2015: CQC publish report on 3 September into July 2015 unannounced inspections.
2015: Four-day formal inspection 15-18 September by CQC of Colchester General Hospital, Essex County Hospital and Trust.
2016: Publication on 19 January of the report into the September 2015 four-day inspection.
2016: Unannounced inspection 4-5 April 2016 to look specifically at key areas of concern from the September 2015 inspection. Two "Section 31" notices issued.
2016: On 28 April the CQC concluded the Trust could not continue in special measures or in its current form. A long-term partnership between our Trust and The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust was recommended jointly by the CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals and the Chief Executive of NHS Improvement as the only way of securing services for patients long into the future.
2016: On 17 May Alan Rose, who became Chairman in April 2015, and Frank Sims who became Chief Executive in October 2015 were replaced with immediate effect by David White and Nick Hulme, while remaining in the roles of Chair and Chief Executive respectively at Ipswich Trust.
Go to the 2014-2016 CQC review page
Go to the 2013 CQC review page