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NHS trust jumps from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ CQC rating after ‘huge improvements’ under new leadership

An NHS trust has jumped from an ‘inadequate’ rating to ‘good’ and has been taken out of special measures after the health inspectorate found “huge improvements” under new leadership.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust (BSUH) has “met the requirements demanded of them” and embedded a successful quality improvement strategy, according to the CQC, just two years after the trust was rated inadequate.

 The trust’s chief executive, Dame Marianne Griffiths, called it “fantastic news and thoroughly deserved,” and paid tribute to her “magnificent staff” who she said have been through a tough few years, adding that there was no “silver bullet” to improve failing trusts.

The health inspectorate’s report found huge improvements had been made since the new executive team had introduced systems of working including a new strategy, vision and values underpinning a patient-centred culture which was “inclusive, empowering and positive.”

A new divisional structure had been created, and “quality was a ‘golden thread’ running through the Patient First Strategy,” according to the CQC report.

Inspectors also found that staff knew and understood the trust’s vision and said the strategy had “given them the ability to all speak the same language,” plus a clear framework had set out the structure of wards and divisions and supported the delivery of the trust’s strategy.

Facing a £15.5m deficit, BSUH was placed into special measures in 2016 after an inspection found patients were at risk— with low levels of staff and a disconnect between wards and the board.

Dame Marianne Griffiths took over at the trust the following year alongside Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, and today she said: “It is testament to the hardworking staff at Brighton and Sussex that the trust has shown such improvement over the last two years, and it is with great pleasure that I congratulate them in coming out of quality special measures today.

She said the CQC report was “another important milestone” after coming out of financial special measures in July and identified that leadership by team rather than a “heroic” individual effort had led the revival.

The chief inspectors of hospitals, Edward Baker, commented that he was pleased with the “real progress” and “dramatic change” seen in the past six to nine months and that he was happy to remove the trust from special measures.

Baker said much of the credit must go to the new leadership team, and praised the additional support provided by the Western Sussex trust.

Image credit - coldsnowstorm


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