Inspection and Regulation

06.06.18

Struggling Sussex trust taken out of special measures by CQC

A Sussex health trust which was heavily criticised in 2015 has been taken out of special measures after a positive report from the health authority.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) was put into special measures by the CQC after concerns of a bullying culture and out-of-touch board with its staff. This February the trust missed financial targets by £21m.

The trust, which runs Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Conquest Hospital in Hastings, was inspected in March this year to check five core services of maternity, surgery, medicine, outpatients, and emergency care.

In the areas inspected by the CQC, everything was rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding,’ apart from the emergency department at Eastbourne, which was rated as ‘requires improvement,’ but ‘good’ for well led and caring.

On the basis of the inspection in March, the trust’s overall rating would be ‘good,’ but because not all services were inspected, the rating remained at ‘requires improvement.’ The trust remains in financial special measures and "must make rapid progress to strengthen its finances," NHS Improvement said.

Dr Adrian Bull, ESHT Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that the hard work and commitment of people across the organisation has been recognised by the CQC, with the services they inspected rated as mainly good or outstanding. We have a talented and professional workforce and the rating of ‘good’ for caring is recognition of this.

“Our aim is to be an outstanding organisation by 2020, which provides excellent healthcare for the people of East Sussex, and that people are happy and proud to work. This report is clear evidence we are making good progress.

Dr Bull added that despite remaining in special measures for finance, they are “committed to tackling financial challenges. We are focused on maintaining and improving the quality and safety of the services provided. We will not take financial decisions without undertaking a quality impact assessment.”

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