Monitor secures improvements to A&E services in the West Midlands

Published on: 17th December 2013

Health sector regulator Monitor has secured improvements to Accident and Emergency services at one of England's largest NHS foundation trusts so patients no longer wait too long for treatment.

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust provides services at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital, Solihull Hospital and Community Services and the Birmingham Chest Clinic. It has failed to meet national targets at Good Hope and Birmingham Heartlands Hospitals, for treating patients in Accident and Emergency within four hours for the past year.

Monitor has found the trust breached its licence to provide health care services and therefore the trust has given legally binding undertakings to:

  • Deliver its 2013/14 urgent care winter plan to strengthen performance in urgent and emergency care and tackle pressures on waiting times;
  • Improve how it manages urgent care through the introduction of a new management system called "Gold Command";
  • Bring in recognised external experts to provide advice on resolving issues affecting urgent care services provided by the trust; and
  • Develop and implement a clinically-led action plan to transform urgent care services provided by the trust in the longer term.

The regulator will continue to monitor progress made by the trust to ensure that the planned changes happen.

Laura Mills, Senior Regional Manager at Monitor, said today:

"Patients should be seen quickly when they need Accident and Emergency services, but those using Good Hope Hospital and Heartlands Hospital have not been able to access treatment quickly enough.  Monitor has taken action to address this issue.

"The local hospital leadership have now given us legally binding commitments that will deliver real improvements, and we’ll keep monitoring the trust to ensure these changes happen."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • For further information please contact Phil Groves, Head of News on press.office@monitor.gov.uk (020 3747 0800)
  • Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its main duty is to protect and promote the interests of people who use them. Information about Monitor’s role can be found here.
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