Bosses at Bradford Royal Infirmary have welcomed news that an official probe into its services has ended, but a private health care company which stopped using the hospital has yet to change its mind.
Monitor was looking into whether staffing problems, highlighted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), were symptomatic of wider issues at BRI.
Yesterday the Telegraph & Argus reported how the investigation, which started in January, had been closed after Monitor said patients were benefiting from an increase in staffing, particularly in Accident & Emergency.
Monitor, which is a regulator for health services in England, cited the recruitment of 135 nurses and four A&E consultants by the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Trust chief executive Bryan Millar said: “We are very pleased that Monitor has closed its investigation and expressed confidence in the actions we have already taken and the plans we have in place.
“It is reassuring that Monitor believes we have demonstrated considerable progress in recruiting additional staff and continue to provide high quality care to the local community.”
The inspection followed a critical report by CQC inspectors which said the hospital was failing in four out of six areas looked at during unannounced visits last year.
The CQC’s findings and warning notice about staffing also led to private health care provider Bupa withdrawing from using BRI.
The company said it was temporarily suspending its recognition of the hospital, meaning that private treatment there would not be covered while CQC concerns were addressed.
It was a move which baffled hospital leaders who said inspectors had not even looked at the site’s private wing.
Last night Bupa medical director Dr Annabel Bentley said: “We have been in contact with Bradford Royal Infirmary for the last few months and have visited the hospital to discuss improvements in the standards of care, in particular the service at the private patients’ unit.
“We are in the process of discussing their reinstatement as a Bupa-recognised hospital.
“We have sought assurances that the issues identified by the CQC will not affect Bupa customers using the hospital. The health and wellbeing of our customers is our absolute priority.”
Last week the CQC said it believed the BRI was “moving in the right direction”.
It will re-inspect the hospital in the coming months.