More hospitals are likely to be exposed for inadequate care standards, warns Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt announces 'robust' new failure regime for 11 NHS trusts with some of worst death rates

The public should prepare for more hospitals to be exposed as having inadequate care standards, the Health Secretary has said.

Jeremy Hunt warned it was "likely" that more hospitals would be placed in special measures, as he announced a "robust" new failure regime for 11 NHS trusts with some of the worst mortality rates in the country, which will see leaders of successful hospitals drafted in to turn the failing institutions around.

NHS trusts that are placed in special measures will now be "buddied" with a high-achieving trust, with successful managers and medical directors sharing expertise, in plans based on the Department of Education's "superhead" programme.

"We want to give the public confidence that it is not the end of the world if a hospital goes into special measures," Mr Hunt said. "There is a robust plan in place to deal with it."

The new chief inspector of hospitals, Sir Mike Richards, this week began visiting hospitals under a new inspection regime brought in to address what Mr Hunt yesterday acknowledged were widespread failings in the NHS regulatory system.

The health secretary said it was "likely" that the new chief inspector would identify other hospitals that needed to be placed under special measures.

He said that the "inspirational leaders" from the best-performing hospitals were needed to resolve "entrenched problems" at failing trusts, but warned that turning under-achieving hospitals around could take between three and five years.

Bonus payments from a pot totalling £5.5m will be available for successful trusts that succeed in bringing their partner trust out of special measures. Trusts will also be reimbursed for the time given up by staff.

Six of the 11 hospitals in special measures are foundation trusts, which have more independence than other trusts. Mr Hunt said that some foundation trusts had made "unacceptable compromises" on staffing levels in order to achieve the financial sustainability required to qualify foundation trust status.

Dame Julie Moore, chief executive of the University Hospitals Birmingham Trust, which has been partnered with two trusts in special measures, said that smaller trusts could begin to fail because they became isolated, and that addressing pockets of poor care would benefit the entire NHS.

"If we don't help them, then many patients will end up in our hospitals anyway," she said. "Good hospitals could be overwhelmed."

The first 11 trusts to enter the new failure regime were placed in special measures after being criticised by the medical director of the NHS Sir Bruce Keogh, in his report on NHS hospitals with outlying mortality rates.

Sir Bruce said several of the trusts had unacceptably low staffing levels. Some have already begun appointing more nurses and consultants to improve care, including Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust, which has appointed an extra 200 nurses.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Account Manager / Membership Manager

£35 - 38k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Account Manager ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Advisor / Administrator

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This position will in the main ...

Recruitment Genius: Ecommerce Assistant

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the top Cosmeceutical br...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks