Liverpool

Trust concerns halt Liverpool community health decision

Hospital ward Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption A health inspection raised a number of concerns at Bridgewater Community Healthcare

NHS bosses have temporarily halted a decision to award Liverpool community services to an under-performing trust.

It follows concerns over the standard of services at Bridgewater Community Healthcare (BCH) which was rated as "requires improvement".

Labour MP Rosie Cooper had criticised the "staggering" decision to allow BCH to take over services from Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust.

NHS Improvement said the pause was to carry out "detailed assurance work".

The MP for West Lancashire cautiously welcomed what she said was the "right decision".

"There is too much at stake to get this wrong again for the patients and staff involved in Liverpool community health services.

"Commissioners cannot afford a repeat of their previous failures."

Concerns over BCH - which is used by 1.5m people every year - centred on a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection last summer.

CQC inspectors measured 40 areas with one rated as outstanding and 27 as good.

But they also found unsafe practice in the management of medication, end of life prescriptions and urgent care centres not following national guidance.

Overall, the trust was given a rating of "requires improvement".

A spokesman for NHS Improvement said it was prudent to order the additional tests to ensure "the proposals remain appropriate."

Colin Scales, chief executive at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, insisted he is "happy" to provide the "necessary assurance".

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