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Wye Valley NHS Trust

Herefordshire's health service provider

About the Trust

Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services in Herefordshire.

The Trust provides community services and hospital care (acute and community) to a population of just over 180,000 people in Herefordshire. We also provide urgent and elective care to a population of more than 40,000 people in mid-Powys, Wales.  

Our catchment area is characterised by its rural nature and remoteness, with more than 50 per cent of our service users living five miles or more from Hereford city or a market town.

Established in 2011 

Wye Valley NHS Trust was established on 1 April 2011.  This followed extensive stakeholder engagement with our colleagues in health, social care and the third sector.  

The Trust was England’s first integrated provider of acute, community and adult social care services bringing together Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust, NHS Herefordshire’s Provider Services (excluding Mental Health) and Herefordshire Council’s Adult Social Care services (under a Section 75 arrangement).  The Section 75 arrangement with Herefordshire Council ended in September 2013 and the Trust no longer provides adult social care.

With an estimated annual turnover of around £160 million, we employ around 2,700 staff with the aim of building new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers, and with the wider community.

Unlocking our potential - response to special measures

In line with the wider challenges of the NHS, this has been our most challenging year yet, and our thanks must go to our staff, partners, patients, volunteers and others for their loyalty and hard work to help us make sustainable improvements to our services.

There is no doubting that public and regulatory confidence in our services was knocked following the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection in June, and the subsequent move into Special Measures (click here to find out more about special measures). Clearly, no Trust wants to be labelled ‘inadequate’ and we are working hard to turn the situation around. 

Key to our response to this situation is the Patient Care Improvement Plan and the areas for improvement highlighted in our ‘Unlocking our Potential’ programme. The Patient Care Improvement Plan (PCIP) is not simply a reaction to an inspection report, but contains every action needed to produce a more resilient organisation which meets our local population’s specific health needs as well as constitutional and regulatory targets. 

Alongside the PCIP, we have announced a £40 million five-year Estates Strategy for the County Hospital which will enable us to embark on a much needed programme to rebuild, expand, invest in more beds and in the latest diagnostic and other facilities.

These changes are needed to meet challenges driven by demographic change, unprecedented and increasing demand for our services and regulatory concern over the quality of care and safety of patients. It is important to remember that, while the CQC report highlighted particular concerns around urgent care, patient flow and our patient safety culture, a number of areas, like our pre-op assessments, midwifery academy and children’s community services, were highly praised. So too were our staff who were described as consistently demonstrating a caring attitude and empathetic approach – and, for that, we can be proud. 

Entering Special Measures does not mean we are a failing organisation, that our hospitals are not safe or that we are not providing good levels of care. However, it gives the Trust Development Authority the power to provide extra support and resources to tackle the issues identified. During the year we welcomed a number of new frontline staff and developed new posts to make sure that we can deliver our Trust Mission: the delivery of a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our family and our friends. We are already beginning to see some benefits from this work and progress is demonstrated.  click here to find out more about special measures

Trust’s response to the Francis Report

The Francis Report, which followed the public inquiry into failings in care at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, was published in February 2013.  It identified significant failings at Mid-Staffordshire hospital - these are failings which could occur anywhere in the NHS.

Wye Valley NHS Trust acknowledges there is no room for complacency and has reviewed the findings and recommendations of the report. This Trust’s priority is the health and welfare of its patients, and has established a team to make sure any lessons that can be learnt following the publication of the Francis Report are acted upon.  Some of these key actions which have now been completed include: 

  • We reviewed and updated our complaints procedures to make it easier for patients to register concerns and to ensure complaints are acted upon
  • We are instilling a fresh commitment to openness and transparency across the whole of the organisation
  • We have reviewed our training programmes for nursing staff in relation to the development of their leadership skills and will review our development programme
  • We have improved compliance with our hygiene requirements for staff and visitors through extra hand sanitisers, training for staff and posters to remind visitors
  • We have given each of our Board members specific responsibility for specific areas of operation
  • We have reviewed our whistleblowing policy to ensure honesty and transparency are the norm

Key principles

The key principles of Wye Valley NHS Trust are to improve the health and well being of the people we serve in Herefordshire and the surrounding areas.

We continue to work across traditional boundaries to provide integrated care in order to deliver a standard of care we would want for ourselves, our families and friends.

We are a clinical and practitioner-led organisation owned by our local community and staff.

Vision, Mission and Values

View the Trust's vision, mission and values.

© Wye Valley NHS Trust 2014