Media Release

QEH formally leaves ‘Special Measures’

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn (QEH) has formally exited the Recovery Support System (formerly known as ‘Special Measures’) following final approval from the national NHS England / Improvement team.

QEH was recommended for exiting the Recovery Support System following successful Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections in December 2021 and January 2022, which saw the Trust rated ‘Good’ in three core areas – Medicine, Urgent and Emergency Care (including the Emergency Department), and Critical Care, as well as receiving a ‘Good’ rating for being ‘Well-Led’. This means that the Trust is now rated ‘Good’ in three domains – ‘Caring’, ‘Well-Led’, and ‘Effective’ by the CQC. The Trust also received its first ‘Outstanding’ rating for ‘Well-Led’ within Critical Care.

The Trust was one of the first to be recommended to be lifted out segment four of the System Oversight Framework (SOF) following the CQC inspection but before the Trust could formally exit it needed to be approved by the system regulator – NHS England / Improvement, which has now happened with a letter confirming the Trust’s transition to SOF 3, which means QEH no longer requires ‘mandated intensive support’ from its Regulator.

Caroline Shaw CBE, Chief Executive at QEH, said: “I am thrilled that our Regulator has formally confirmed the Trust’s exit from the Recovery Support System following our recent CQC inspection.

“Their formal confirmation that the Trust has made significant progress to allow us to exit the Recovery Support System is the next important step in our improvement journey.

“That said, we are in no way complacent and know there is still much to do as we enter the next phase of our improvement journey, whilst ensuring we continue to sustain and embed the changes we have made over the last three years.

“I hope alongside our recent CQC report that this gives confidence to our patients, their families and the local community that QEH is an organisation very much on the up where they can have confidence in and receive the very best care.

“I would like to thank our staff and the local community for their ongoing support – without which this would not have been possible and restate our determination to continue on our journey of improvement so that we can see QEH go from strength to strength and achieve our ambition to be the best rural District General Hospital for patient and staff experience.”

A spokesperson from NHS England and Improvement in the East of England said: “We are pleased to see the Trust’s transition out of the NHS’s recovery support programme, a programme designed to support organisations facing the toughest challenges.

“We will continue to work closely with them and support them as they continue to improve their services.”


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