Responding to NHS Improvement’s decision to impose a number of enforcement undertakings on Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Rachel said:

“Of course this is disappointing, there are no other words to describe this situation. It feels like we’re stuck in a constant cycle of bad news and poor performances when it comes to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

“It’s the Government’s absolute determination to see Trusts operating to the NHS’ highest standards. NHS Improvement’s decision regarding WAHT clearly shows the Government has a tight grip on the situation.

“It is standard procedure for NHS Improvement to seek undertakings from challenged Trusts on what steps they’re taking to address quality, performance and finance issues. The Trust has been asked for those assurances, and the Trust has given NHS Improvement those assurances.

“The Trust is failing to deliver, and it is right they do more. What they have done to date isn’t enough. It needs to step up and get its act together.

“While there is constant speculation surrounding the hospital I’m always mindful to be respectful of the incredibly hard working and dedicated staff who work at the Trust. I know from my meetings that they are as committed as ever to delivering the best care to patients and often find it distressing when the Trust’s performance is yet again under a cloud, through no fault of their own. That’s why I’m determined to continue to work with all parties to find a way through this situation and do everything in my power to bring more certainty.

“I have a meeting with the Health Secretary again next week where we will discuss this latest development.

“I’ll make the point again that the configuration of health services in Worcestershire needs to be reviewed. With the NHS set to receive £20.5 billion, all options must remain on the table – including returning services to the Alex to take pressure off Worcestershire Royal Hospital which simply cannot cope.”