LUHFT’s “impressive progress” in delivering improvements in safe and effective care has been recognised by NHS England, enabling the Trust to be lifted from NHS England’s Oversight Framework segmentation 4 and national Recovery Support Programme (RSP).

In response to the announcement, LUHFT Chief Executive, James Sumner, thanked colleagues for their hard work, dedication and commitment to delivering the required improvements for patients.

James Sumner, Chief Executive at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “There has been a significant amount of work made by colleagues across the Trust to ensure that we can provide the best care possible for our patients. 

“This demonstrates the real difference in the quality of care we are giving our patients, and I’m incredibly proud of our colleagues who have been the driving force behind these changes. By putting those who are closest to the issues in control of the solutions, staff have been empowered to deliver these improvements. 

“This is the first step in our improvement journey. There is still more to do that ensures we are putting patients at the heart of everything that we do. We are committed to making LUHFT a place where every patient has the trust and confidence to be treated and where every colleague is proud to work.”

Performance and delivery of care has actually and comparatively improved significantly across a number of measures. LUHFT successfully achieved NHS England’s target of eliminating 78-week waits by the end of March 2023, and is continuing to drive down wait times. 

The Trust’s target for October 2023 was to reduce the number of patients who were waiting over 68 weeks for care requiring a hospital stay and 60 weeks for outpatient care. At the end of October, 84% of patients waiting had been treated. This continued reduction in elective and cancer waiting times also meant that earlier this year, the Trust was lifted out of NHS England’s Tier 1 group of trust’s requiring the highest level of operational performance support.

Focused work on ensuring that the basics elements of care are met every time has also empowered staff across 21 wards at the Trust to drive their own improvements, with a 42% reduction in falls and a 55% reduction in pressure ulcers reported in those wards.

As a result of the improvements, NHS England’s Quality and Performance Committee has approved LUHFT’s transition to segment 3 of the NHS Oversight Framework, and subsequent exit from the national RSP. 

The Trust entered the national RSP in October 2021, when it was placed in segment 4 of the NHS Oversight Framework as a result of challenges in performance and aspects in quality of care at the organisation. This meant that the Trust had been subject to increased scrutiny and mandated intensive support in its delivery of care. 

The Trust’s transition out of the RSP echoes improvements recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who last month lifted the Section 31 notices on LUHFT’s Emergency Departments, which have also been in place since 2021. 

The Trust is now focused on continuing to sustain and build on these improvements, alongside progressing working with wider Liverpool system partners, to support an onward transition to segment 2 of the NHS Oversight Framework. As part of this, work is underway to develop the Trust’s new strategy, in which they will set out their vision for the future and identify how they can continue reshaping the organisation to better deliver care and serve the health needs of the local population.