Medics at King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital are celebrating after it was formally taken out of special measures.
Health regulator Monitor announced it is lifting the status from the Gayton Road hospital after “significant improvements” in the quality of care.
This follows a successful Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection which detailed a range of changes since the hospital was placed in special measures in 2013.
But Monitor has warned the trust is still facing “significant” financial challenges with a current deficit of nearly £14 million.
A team of experts sent in by Monitor has developed a plan to clear the deficit, which the hospital has agreed to implement.
But the report states health leaders might have to decide how to radically change services or seek additional funding to plug a projected £12m future deficit. Monitor’s transformation and turnaround director Paul Dinkin said: “ The hospital leadership has made great progress in improving its services for patients, and deserves to be removed from special measures.
“At the same time, our team of experts identified significant long-term challenges to the sustainability of the local health and care system.
“These undertakings, agreed between Monitor and the trust, will go a long way towards fixing these problems.
“But further changes to how healthcare is funded and provided will need to be considered by the trust and their commissioners.”
Trust chairman Edward Libbey said: “It is brilliant to now have the official release from special measures from Monitor.
“It marks a huge step on our journey to excellence and is reflective of an incredible amount of work by staff.
“It is also a massive morale boost as we continue our improvement journey to providing excellent patient care and experience every time.”
Chief executive Dorothy Hosein said: “It is of great credit to everyone that we were able to illustrate not only marked improvements but an established plan to continue on our journey to excellence.”
“Staff were able to clearly demonstrate to inspectors an understanding of every aspect of our hospital and what we aspire to enhance further in the future.”