Guide to special measures

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Explains the special measures programme for NHS trusts and foundation trusts.

Special measures apply when NHS trusts and foundation trusts have serious problems and there are concerns that the existing leadership cannot make the necessary improvements without support. 

They consist of a set of interventions designed to remedy problems within a reasonable timeframe. Trusts may be placed in special measures as a result of serious failures in quality of care and/or serious financial problems.

Special measures for quality reasons: guidance for trusts

This guidance, jointly produced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and NHS Improvement, describes how special measures work for quality reasons. It explains:

  • why trusts are placed in special measures for quality reasons
  • the process for entering special measures
  • what will happen to trusts during special measures and how long special measures are intended to last
  • the roles and responsibilities of key organisations involved
  • when and how trusts will exit special measures, including the relationship between quality and financial performance
  •  if and how a trust can re-enter special measures.

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