A Dorset Health Trust has made great strides to improve the way it is run after a damning report last year.

As a result of scrutiny by Monitor, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust has taken a number of steps to change its leadership, including replacing all but one of its non-executive directors and making the role of governors more effective.

The health regulator found that the trust was in breach of its licence in April last year after the Care Quality Commission found issues with the trust’s quality of care, which led to concerns with how the trust was being run.

Subsequently, Monitor brought about the appointment of an interim chairman, Sir David Henshaw.

Soon after the trust board was re-shaped, it put an action plan in place and improved its care. Paul Streat, regional director at Monitor, said: “It’s encouraging to see the trust successfully take action to change for the better.

“Making sure the trust is well-led will mean that services will run smoothly, and it is clear the trust is taking the right steps to maintain strong leadership.

“We launched our investigation last year because the trust was not being run well and this was affecting quality of care, and we are now closing it because the trust has improved on both counts.

“This is good news for people in Dorset who will receive better care as a result.”

Monitor, the regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts, has confirmed this week that it has closed its investigation into Dorset HealthCare and that the trust is no longer in breach of its licence.

The trust has worked closely with Monitor to make a number of improvements and changes including the strengthening of governance, quality and risk management and changes to the senior leadership team.

Chief executive Ron Shields said: “I am pleased that Monitor has recognised the progress we have made and this is down to the commitment and hard work of our staff, governors and senior leadership team.”


What it does in the community

Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust provides integrated community health and mental health, specialist learning disability services, community brain injury, community dental services including community hospitals and prison healthcare.

It provides local services across a range of locations throughout Dorset.

It serves a population of almost 700,000 people and its income is approximately £200million with around 5,000 staff.

Most of its services are provided in the local communities, in people’s homes, community hospitals or in local centres through locally based integrated health and social care teams and facilities.

It also provides specialist assessment and treatment in-patient centres.