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England’s largest hospital trust is put into special measures after catalogue of failings

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1542 (Published 19 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1542
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

The head of England’s largest NHS hospital trust has apologised for care failings after a damning report by the healthcare inspector found that poor leadership, a culture of bullying, and low staffing levels had put patient safety at risk.1

Barts Health NHS Trust was placed in special measures after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) judged care standards “inadequate” at London’s Whipps Cross University Hospital, one of the trust’s six hospital sites.

Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals, said that some staff were reluctant to speak to inspectors and that some feared “repercussions” if their views were recorded. He said that many of the failings found in a previous inspection were still not resolved and that a “damaging” decision in 2013 to remove 220 posts across the trust and to “down-band” several hundred more nursing staff was still being felt. “The trust must get a grip on what is happening here and on the low staff morale,” Richards said.

The CQC also criticised high …

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