County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

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Coordinates: 54°47′20″N 1°35′35″W / 54.789°N 1.593°W / 54.789; -1.593 County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is an NHS Foundation Trust based in North East England. It runs two acute hospitals in University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital as well as further non-acute centres at Shotley Bridge Community Hospital, Sedgefield Community Hospital, Richardson Hospital, Weardale Hospital, Bishop Auckland Hospital and Chester-le-Street Community Hospital.[1] The Chief Executive is Sue Jacques.[2] The most recent review of the Trust by the Care Quality Commission in 2015 gave it a "Overall Requires Improvement" rating.[3]

In 2015 the trust established a subsidiary company, Synchronicity Care Ltd. The intention was to achieve VAT benefits, as well as pay bill savings, by recruiting new staff on less expensive non-NHS contracts. VAT benefits arise because NHS trusts can only claim VAT back on a small subset of goods and services they buy. The Value Added Tax Act 1994 provides a mechanism through which NHS trusts can qualify for refunds on contracted out services.[4]

In 2018 it made a 14-year managed service agreement with Royal Philips Electronics to run imaging and cardiology services across four sites.[5]


Four-hour target in the emergency department quarterly figures from NHS England Data from

The Trust logged 1570 breaches of the 30 minute handover rule from ambulances to its A&E department during the same period as well as 360 breaches of the 60 minute target, triggering fines of £674,000.[6]

A Care Quality Commission survey found that the Trust was among the best in England for its maternity services in December 2013.[7] A subsequent review by the CQC noted that "People were not being protected from the risks of unsafe or inappropriate care and treatment because accurate and appropriate records were not always being maintained."[8]

From September 2017 all referrals to the trust are made electronically using the NHS e-Referral Service. This has reduced the rate of patients missing appointments from 10% to 5%.[9]


The Trust set up trial of a digital self-testing service for patients using Warfarin in 2013. They are given a Roche CoaguChek XS monitor and testing strips. This gives a reading of their international normalised ratio, a measure of how quickly blood clots – which they can share with clinic staff via an automated phone call. The software which drives the automated process is produced by Inhealthcare Ltd. The 200 patients on the trial improved the time they were in therapeutic range from 60% of the time to 75% which reduces the risk of complications. They no longer have to come to the hospital every two weeks and are less likely to be admitted. Patients are enthusiastic about the benefits.[10]


The trust currently hosts medical students from Newcastle University Medical School across sites.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Hospitals". County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Sue Jacques". HFMA. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  3. ^ "County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Requires improvement". Care Quality Commission. Care Quality Commission. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  4. ^ "In full: Trusts with staff transfer plans". Health Service Journal. 14 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  5. ^ "NHS trust and Philips agree 14-year partnership". Building better Healthcare. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Huge fines for NHS trusts as thousands of patients are kept waiting in ambulances". Northern Echo. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Bosses explain why maternity services are now in 'top ten' nationally". Northern Echo. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Inspection Summary: People's personal records, including medical records, should be accurate and kept safe and confidential (outcome 21)". Care Quality Commission. Archived from the original on 27 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Hospital trusts become first to fully adopt e-referral system". Health care Leader. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Patient experience special report: Quality care begins at home". Health Service Journal. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Wear Base Unit". Newcastle University. Retrieved 15 November 2014.

External links[edit]