Hospital trust gets thumbs up on some enforcement demands - but finance and cancer performance must improve

The national hospital trust regulator, NHS Improvement, has formally lifted a number of enforcement undertakings from the Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUH).

The John Radcliffe Hospital, the HQ of the Oxford University Hospitals Trust
The John Radcliffe Hospital, the HQ of the Oxford University Hospitals Trust

NHS Improvement (NHSI), which regulates hospital trusts in the NHS alongside the Care Quality Commission, has confirmed it has formally lifted most of the demands for improvement which were agreed with the OUH Trust Board in June 2018.

The regulator has issued a compliance certificate in respect five of the Trust’s enforcement undertakings relating to governance, urgent and emergency care, planned (elective) care, workforce planning and the Integrated Improvement Programme developed to coordinate plans.

NHSI still has concerns about the Trust’s finance and cancer performance. Enforcement undertakings for finance, which were also agreed with OUH in June 2018, remain in place. NHSI intends to agree new enforcement undertakings for cancer with the Trust.

Dr Bruno Holthof, CEO of the OUH

NHSI told the Trust: “This compliance certificate recognises the significant progress the Trust has made in respect of governance, planned care, emergency care and workforce planning, along with the development of the overarching Integrated Improvement Programme to ensure delivery of plans.”

The enforcement undertakings which were agreed with NHSI in June 2018 committed the OUH Trust Board to demonstrate it had clear plans which would lead to improvements in performance on key priorities – urgent and emergency care, planned care and financial sustainability – as well as in two additional areas – governance and strategic workforce planning.

NHSI also stressed the OUH Trust Board had to ensure that these plans were developed with a focus on the quality of care and that they were delivered in a robust and coherent manner.

Each of the areas included in the enforcement undertakings were led by executive directors and other senior staff. An Integrated Improvement Programme was developed to ensure a co-ordinated approach.

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, says: “We are delighted that NHSI has recognised that we have made significant progress in tackling some of our key priorities.

“I would like to thank all staff whose renewed focus on key areas has led to these welcome improvements in our performance.

"As a Trust Board we are committed to working with colleagues across the Trust – and with our partners in the wider health and care system – so that together we can move forward positively to ensure that we deliver the highest possible quality of care to our patients."