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Colchester hospital head apologises following damning CQC report.

A "heartfelt apology" has been issued by the new head of Colchester Hospital after the publication of a damning Care Quality Commission (CQC) report.

The latest inspection at the trust, which has been in special measures for more than two years, found concerns around clinical leadership, a bullying culture on one ward, and staff shortages.

New chief executive Nick Hulme, said in a statement: "We have not been good enough and need to do better."

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Prof Sir Mike Richards, said the latest CQC report follows an inspection of the hospital in April 2016, which looked at problems identified in a previous report.

Among issues identified in the latest inspection were nursing leadership on one ward where concerns about a "bullying culture" were raised with inspectors; a lack of clinical leadership in the emergency department and, although nursing leadership was good, doctors "were disengaged in the delivery of a safe, effective and responsive service.”

The CQC report added that, in spite of some improvements, the management and trust board still lacked a "robust grip" on identifying risks and the pace of improvement was too slow.

Prof Richards said: "It was a real concern to us that significant improvements had not been made." He welcomed a decision to put chief executive of Ipswich Hospital, Mr Nick Hulme, in charge of Colchester Hospital.

Prof Richards added: "We are optimistic about what will be achieved at the trust through this partnership, based on the strength of leadership we have previously assessed at Ipswich."

Mr Hulme, who joined the trust in May, said: "We need to take a long hard look at ourselves in the mirror. We are not consistently delivering a high quality of care to the people we serve in a timely and efficient manner.

"People in north east Essex deserve better from their local hospital trust and I want to give them a heartfelt apology."