Healthwatch East Sussex response to special measures for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

September 22, 2015

Healthwatch East Sussex is disappointed that little progress has been made on improving services for the people of East Sussex, between the CQC report published in March and the one we see today. It means that residents in East Sussex have been subject to inadequate services for well over 12 months.

In short, now is the time for decisive action from all partners. At the heart of this work must be the voice of East Sussex residents and staff.

Director of Healthwatch East Sussex, Julie Fitzgerald said,

“I welcome the Interim Chief Executive’s apology to the public for ESHT’s failings, and his public commitment to ‘a new engagement relationship with the public’. Healthwatch East Sussex started discussions with the senior Leadership of ESHT some time ago. This has focussed on how we can work together to ensure patient and public engagement is at the heart of all they do from now on. We look forward to working with the Board and Senior Management Team to make this a reality, and ensure public experience will inform improvement plans in the future.

Our recent week long Red Bus Tour, 30+ ESHT user experience reviews on our Feedback Centre, and expressions of interest from over 80 local people to join our ESHT Volunteer Task Group, means we have some excellent data, and a mix of skills to help deliver engagement activities in and with the Trust over the next 6 months, or until improvements are visible”.

Looking forward

Healthwatch East Sussex is asking residents to continue sending us your feedback and experiences. This means we can ensure it is heard at the centre of all action plans for improvement. You can visit our website, call us on 0333 101 4007, text 07826 021 114 (we can call back), or email

As well as improving ESHT services, the view from local people is also essential in influencing the East Sussex Better Together programme, aimed at transforming and integrating health and social care services in the county.

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