Rotherham Hospital clears regulatory sanctions after eight years

ROTHERHAM Hospital is free of any regulatory sanctions imposed by the national health watchdog for the first time in eight years.

The announcement was made at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust board’s May meeting — two months after chief nurse Helen Dobson described the trust’s strategy to improve its standing with the Care Quality Commission as “not ambitious enough”.

The trust was revisited by the CQC in March last year following a previous inspection in June 2021, when it was rated as requiring improvement.

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While some improvements were found last March, the CQC imposed conditions on the trust’s registration relating to risk assessments, cleanliness, safeguarding and mandatory training.

The visit did not generate a new rating, leaving the hospital at the same level.

At the previous bi-monthly board meeting in March, Mrs Dobson said the trust’s “journey to good” strategy was “not ambitious enough” and the “ultimate” aim was to be rated as outstanding.

She added the CQC had been invited to re-inspect to see the improvements but the hospital was not a “priority” because it was not seen as “high risk”.  

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Speaking at the May meeting, she told directors: “I’m delighted to report that all conditions on us from the CQC have been lifted, which is great news.”

Mrs Dobson also paid tribute to the team’s efforts and the work going on behind the scenes, while presenting the Quality Assurance (including CQC) Report.

The report stated: “The applications for the removal of all existing regulatory sanctions have been successful, with the trust receiving notification on March 27.

“This is the first time the trust has been in this position since 2015 and is testament to the improvements, commitment and leadership within the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre.”

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Speaking after the meeting, a trust spokesperson said the organisation had “engaged fully” with the CQC over the past year to demonstrate improvements in all of the conditions and submitted its successful application for removal in January.

Mrs Dobson added: “This is the first time that the trust has been free of any conditions on our registration in more than eight years and reflects the work that is ongoing to ensure that we provide a high standard of care for the people of Rotherham.

“This supports our ambition to keep moving towards being an outstanding organisation.”