Sheffield hospital managers asked to help turn around troubled NHS trust

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Managers from Sheffield’s hospitals have been tasked with turning around one of the country’s worst-performing NHS trusts.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been paired up with United Lincolnshire Hospitals, which is currently in ‘special measures’ because of concerns over high death rates.

High-performing trusts are being handed contracts to offer expertise and support, health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced earlier today.

“In place of the old approach of paying management consultants to analyse the problems, we are giving contracts to the best in the NHS to implement solutions they have tried and tested,” said Mr Hunt.

“With the help of inspiring leaders and their teams from our leading hospitals, I am confident we can get these hospitals out of special measures.”

Sir Andrew Cash, chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “We have been asked by the health secretary to offer some buddying support to United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. “This is a new and emerging idea launched by the health secretary today and so there is still further detail to be worked out. United Lincolnshire Hospitals already has an improvement plan in place and several improvements have already been achieved, therefore our role will be to share good practice which is in place in our hospitals so that this can also benefit patients in Lincolnshire. “We also expect that in some areas there will be good practice in Lincolnshire which can be shared with us here in Sheffield.

“It is important to stress that neither I or other members of the trust’s executive team will be relinquishing our roles at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals under this arrangement and our priority will be to maintain focus on ensuring our trust’s objectives, standards of care and developments continue uninterrupted.

“However, we do feel we have a corporate responsibility to offer help and support to other colleagues in the NHS if we can contribute to improvements to patient care.”

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals could receive bonuses from a £5.5m pot if the partnership is successful.

The ‘buddy scheme’ is expected to last three to five years. Across England, 11 trusts have been placed in special measures.

Barnsley Hospital is also being partnered with Sherwood Forest Hospitals.