Chief Inspector of Hospitals recommends Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is taken out of special measures

January 8, 2019

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended that Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust should be taken out of special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Professor Ted Baker and his inspectors found that sufficient progress had been made to justify the recommendation to NHS Improvement.

A team of inspectors from CQC visited the trust in September 2018 to check the quality of six core services: urgent and emergency care, medical care (including older people’s care) surgery, critical care, maternity and outpatients. CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well-led?

Overall the trust is now rated Good for the quality of its services. The trust is rated Outstanding for being caring and Good for being safe, effective, and well led. The trust is also rated Requires Improvement for being responsive to people’s needs. 

CQC has also published the trust’s Use of Resources report, which is based on an assessment undertaken by NHS Improvement. The trust has been rated as Requires Improvement for using its resources productively. 

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Edward Baker said: 

“I am pleased to report that Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has made real progress. The trust has met the requirements we demanded of them at our last inspection while at the same time developing and embedding an successful quality improvement strategy.

“Two years ago, we rated the trust as Inadequate overall because of concerns relating to patient safety, the organisational culture and governance throughout the trust. Since that time we have been keeping a close watch, with support from local stakeholders. 

“I have no doubt that the additional support from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has helped the trust to address the shortcomings that had been identified, much of the credit must go to the new leadership team at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and to the commitment and hard work of the staff. I congratulate them on what they have achieved. The overall rating of Good reflects a substantial improvement in the quality of services at the trust and I am happy to recommend that it is removed from special measures.”

Staff told inspectors that they had seen a dramatic change in the past six to nine months. They described this change as powerful, positive and felt included in the strategy and overall change. 

In the past staff said they had not always felt supported but the new executive team gave them the confidence to raise concerns and they felt assured that their concerns would be listened to and acted on appropriately.  

The board and senior leadership team leadership team promoted a culture that supported and valued staff. There was now a sense of common purpose based on shared values and staff morale had improved since the last inspection. 

Inspectors rated caring as Outstanding. Staff treated patients with compassion and with kindness. Patients told inspectors that the care they received exceeded their expectations. 

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