COMMENT: 'Special measures' news is just the first step

Congratulations to West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust in breaking out of ‘special measures’.

It might seem like a minor victory – celebrating the fact that it is no longer in need of dramatic improvement – but this has been a long road, and one characterised by sheer graft. 

The staff and volunteers at the trust have been battling in some of the most testing times for the NHS but have adopted a strategy which has enabled them to turn its fortunes around.

True, there is a long way to go. All the hospitals it manages have their issues.

Watford General’s urgent and emergency department is considered ‘inadequate’, and, this month, it was forced to cancel almost 200 non-urgent planned operations.

But it is a step in the right direction; the first stage of improvement was always going to centre on removing this tag.

Now it can look into bettering its various sectors; turning reds and ambers into greens.

And, with the NHS facing more and more problems, it will need as much support and encouragement as it can get.