Hospital trust probe in Chorley after targets fail

A HOSPITAL trust has been placed under investigation by regulators after repeatedly failing to meet appointment targets and having too many outbreaks of the ‘superbug’ C-difficile.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust runs Chorley Hospital, the Royal Preston Hospital and the Specialist Mobility and Rehabilitation Centres across Lancashire.

It has been told by health sector regulator Monitor that it must improve rapidly “within weeks” or face “strong intervention”.

Monitor says it is concerned that since April 2013 the trust has failed to see some patients within 18 weeks of referral and will look at whether it has breached its licence to provide healthcare services.

Robert Davidson, regional director at Monitor, said: “Currently patients are waiting too long for some treatments and we want to know why..”

The investigation will look into performance against two targets — the 18-week referral to treatment standard and the number of C-difficile (C-diff) infections.

Karen Partington, chief executive of the trust said: “We advised Monitor last month that we would not achieve the 18-week referral standard for the third consecutive quarter. We have also exceeded our trajectory for the number of cases of C-diff infections.

“Last winter, our urgent care services experienced intense, growing and unsustainable pressure. To manage this, we postponed a number of elective procedures, and have since found it challenging to meet the 18 week standard.

“We will be working closely with Monitor to share our recovery plans, and make sure we are taking every action possible to deliver timely treatment, and reduce hospital acquired infection.”

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