Health regulator takes action at N&N amid concerns about hospital’s board and waiting times

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney. - Credit: Evening News © 2009

The region's biggest hospital must come up with an improvement plan amid concerns over the 'effectiveness of its board' and its repeated failure to meet waiting time targets.

Health regulator Monitor announced on Thursday morning that it was taking action to improve services at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N).

Monitor has investigated the hospital over its missed A&E waiting times, cancer treatment times and its board.

Monitor said the N&N had now agreed 'legally binding steps' to help it reduce waiting times for A&E, routine operations and cancer patients.

The hospital must now implement an 'operational improvement plan' and develop and deliver a long-term strategy.


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Norfolk and Norwich Hospital has agreed to develop these plans with other care organisations in Norfolk, Monitor said.

Monitor also said it required improvements in the effectiveness of the hospital's board.

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A spokesman said they would be having 'regular' meetings with the hospital to check on progress.

A condition has been added to the hospital's licence by Monitor, meaning regulators can take further action if they don't see improvements in the board's performance.

Monitor called on health trusts throughout Norfolk to work together to improve services for patients across the county.

It came the same day Monitor announced it would bring in experts from Nottingham to improve the region's mental health services.

Anna Dugdale, chief executive of the N&N put the missed A&E targets down to 'exceptionally high demand'.

'Many hospitals in the country have faced similar difficulties with these targets,' she said.

'Monitor has been investigating our performance on these targets and we have agreed the terms of their requirements and our next steps - many of the measures are already in progress.

'We particularly welcome Monitor's request for a commitment by the Clinical Commissioning Groups and other parties in Norfolk to produce a long-term strategy to address the increasing demand for services and the capacity to meet that demand within the local health economy.'

Richard Parker has been appointed as interim chief operating officer to lead the improvements.

Ms Dugdale added: 'With our highly skilled and dedicated staff, our current projects that have already increased capacity and further plans in progress, such as the increasing of A&E capacity, we are in a good position to provide the best possible and timely care that our patients deserve.'

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