Further to my statement to the House on 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 855, I wish to update the House on the situation at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr. William Moyes, chair of Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has written to me about the progress being made at the trust. His letter dated 18 December 2009 has been copied to all local MPs and has already been placed in the Library.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found and confirmed in its statement of 23 December that the trust has rectified the deficiencies over infection control that it had previously identified, and is “now meeting the minimum requirements in this area”. CQC will be carrying out further checks on remaining areas of concern, looking particularly at the quality of emergency care, via unannounced inspections. CQC will be “checking closely to ensure everything is put right, and we will not stop until this is done”.
Also, Monitor has advised that Dr. Foster has confirmed that the trust had achieved hospital standardised mortality ratios for the first six months of 2009 ‘within the expected range’.
However, Monitor has advised me that although there is evidence of material improvement, that there is still a lot to do.
The initial evaluation by the task force established by Monitor to support the trust confirms the need to increase the pace of change, and to address co-ordination of plans to improve services and the governance of the trust. Monitor will continue to maintain close contact with the trust, and with CQC, until it is satisfied that the trust has returned to full compliance with its authorisation as a foundation trust.
I will receive regular updates once Monitor’s board has reviewed the trust’s progress on a monthly basis. I will continue to provide these updates to the House.