Local watchdog organisation responds to the CQC report on East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

June 3, 2015

On Friday 22 May 2015, Julie Fitzgerald, Director of Healthwatch East Sussex gave evidence at the East Sussex Health Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC). This was in relation to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report that gave an overall rating of inadequate to the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT).

Healthwatch East Sussex was pleased with the level of engagement from the CQC prior to the inspection. However we were dismayed to learn that a report providing an overall rating of inadequate, was not released for 7 months, nor was there a Quality Summit for key partners to discuss the actions required.

Healthwatch East Sussex wrote directly to David Behan (Chief Executive) and Sir Mike Richards (Chief Inspector of Hospitals), highlighting our genuine concern for the potential implications to patients due to the delayed publication.

In terms of what this report means for services delivered by ESHT, we remain frustrated. Until the second CQC report from its follow up inspections is released, and a Quality Summit held, there is a real limit on what action can be taken.

It is clearly disappointing that our local provider has had this rating, and Healthwatch East Sussex has already held provisional meetings with Darren Grayson (Chief Executive) and Alice Webster (Director of Nursing). These have examined how we can provide intensive input to the Trust, in terms of its public engagement, and how it listens to people’s experiences of the services they have received.

On the motion of no confidence in the ESHT Chief Executive and Chairman agreed by the Health Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC), Healthwatch East Sussex believes that this is very much within the remit of elected representatives.

Healthwatch East Sussex will remain focussed on working with partners to secure any improvement identified in the forthcoming CQC report and Quality Summit.

Julie Fitzgerald said,

“Once the public, Healthwatch East Sussex, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, the Clinical Commissioning Groups and other key partners have had a genuine opportunity to review the second report, the real action can start.

Healthwatch East Sussex will use the Quality Summit to challenge the CQC and Trust Development Agency, Clinical Commissioning Groups and of course ESHT senior managers, on

Tel: 0333 101 4007 Text: 0782 602 1114

what precise actions will be taken to ensure the final action plan is both robust, led from the top, and that ensure the publics’ voice is heard loud and clear.

East Sussex must never go through this again”.

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