THE NHS trust which runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital has been lifted out of special measures, it has been announced.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which also manages the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and Kidderminster Hospital, has been in special measures since December 2015 after watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised serious concerns over quality and patient care.

In a statement from the trust, released this afternoon, it said regulators had seen significant improvements in safety and quality of patient care to lift it out of special measures by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Matthew Hopkins, who broke the news to the staff, said: “This is fantastic news for colleagues across our trust who have worked so hard to put our patients first and provide the safest, highest quality care they can.

“It is recognition of the progress we have made, and is another very important step forward on our improvement journey, following on from last year’s greatly improved CQC ratings and the way we have risen to the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of our staff for the improvements they have helped to deliver.

“There is still much we have to do, and many more challenges to overcome, but this announcement is a huge vote of confidence in our ability to make sure that every patient coming through the doors of our hospitals gets the best, safest, most compassionate care.

“I would also like to thank our health and care partners across Worcestershire. Their co-operation and commitment to helping us through some very difficult times has been greatly appreciated. Their delivery of an effective, joined up system-wide support package for us has also made an important and direct contribution to us being lifted out of special measures.

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"It is essential that we continue to work together to prepare for the twin challenges of winter and a resurgence of Covid-19 so that we can keep our patients and our staff safe and make sure that we provide timely access to the best care in the right setting for everyone who needs it.”

Simon Trickett, chief executive of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG. added: “This is fantastic news for patients.

"It is a great achievement and reflects the tremendous amount of work that has been put over recent years.

"Congratulations to everyone involved, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with the Trust as they move forward on their improvement journey.”

A spokesperson for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands said: “This is great news for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals and the population it serves, and is testament to the commitment the trust and its staff has made to making key improvements.

"We will be continuing to work closely with the trust and the health system in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to help build on their efforts and this success.”