Trust given clean bill of health by regulator

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An investigation into Lancashire Teaching Hospitals by the health regulator has been closed.

Monitor launched an investigation into the Trust in December but has now confirmed it is closing and the Trust, which runs the Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, has given the trust a ‘green’ rating for governance.

The investigation was opened because patients were waiting too long for treatment, and the incidence of hospital acquired infection had not decreased enough.

Monitor was concerned that these issues indicated a problem with how the hospitals were run.

A spokesman for Monitor said: “An independent review, commissioned as part of the investigation, highlighted areas of good performance at a senior level. Additionally the trust has taken steps to improve waiting times and infection rates.”

Karen Partington, Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are extremely pleased that Monitor has now concluded that it has no concerns about how our hospitals are run.

“We have co-operated fully with Monitor throughout the course of this investigation, providing extensive evidence and commissioning an external comprehensive governance review.

“Whilst Monitor has decided that no further action is necessary, and has given us a ‘green’ rating for governance, this investigation has been a valuable process that has helped us make a number of improvements to how we work which will ultimately benefit our patients.

“ Initial concerns had been raised because we did not complete treatment within 18 weeks for enough inpatients at the beginning of the year.

“This was largely due to an unprecedented increase in demand for urgent care, which compromised our ability to provide timely, planned procedures.

“We have taken a number of actions to improve access to care for patients, including improving pathways and implementing a new, rigorous process to better schedule procedures.

“We are also continuing to work very closely with health and social care organisations to develop services in our local area that enable people to access the right care, in the most appropriate setting, when they need it.”

She added: “This clean bill of health will, I hope, assure our patients that we are absolutely committed to providing the very highest standards of care.”