Following its re-inspection of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust in October 2016, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recognised significant improvements.
The CQC has upgraded the Trust’s rating to ‘requires improvement’ having rated the organisation ‘inadequate’ in September 2015. Care across the Trust was rated as ‘good’. The Trust remains in special measures to support its continuing improvement.
The CQC report says:
“Staff put the provision of compassionate and dignified care as a priority.”
“There is no doubt that substantial improvements have been made since our last inspection.”
“When we visited wards, we saw warmth that was missing on both our previous inspections.”
“The change of culture since our last inspection is remarkable.”
“It is clear that morale and engagement of the workforce is now much higher.”
Key findings of the inspection include:
• Improved surgery at all hospitals, with services at both Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH upgraded to ‘good’ overall from ‘inadequate’.
• All services rated ‘good’ for ‘caring’, with very positive feedback from patients with respect to the caring nature of staff.
• Improved leadership and an executive team very well aligned with a coherent and consistent view of strategic, operational issues and risk.
• A “transformed” organisational culture within the Trust, whose change has been remarkable since the last inspection.
• Critical care rated as good across the organisation.
• Improved infection control and cleanliness with significant improvements in hand hygiene requirements across the Trust with the Trust noted as a largely clean environment
• Maternity services are rated as ‘good’ for safe, caring and well led having previously been rated as ‘inadequate’ overall.
As well as the overall Trust rating the CQC gives an individual rating to each of the Trust’s two hospitals inspected last year.
• Conquest Hospital - rated ‘requires improvement’ overall, with medical care, surgery and critical care all ‘good’.
• Eastbourne District General Hospital - rated ‘requires improvement’ overall, ‘good’ ratings for surgery, critical care and outpatient and diagnostic imaging.
Within the reports the CQC commended fifteen areas for ‘outstanding practice’.
The CQC gives each hospital up to 54 individual ratings for different services including whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led, and six ratings for the Trust. The CQC gave East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust a total of 114 ratings of which 52 were ‘good’ and two were ‘inadequate’ in 2016, compared to 11 ‘good’ and 23 ‘inadequate’ in 2015.
Healthwatch East Sussex has described the CQC report as “encouraging” for those who use the DGH and Conquest in Hastings.
It was also reassured to read, the overall rating for caring remains “Good”, stating this consistency in rating is really good news for patients, relatives and the public.
Julie Fitzgerald, Director added, “We are delighted that the CQC recognised and valued the contribution made to the improvement process for East Sussex Healthcare Trust by Healthwatch East Sussex, its volunteers and members of the public as stated in the report:
“The trust worked well with the local Healthwatch team and had engaged them in a number of initiatives to obtain public engagement and feedback”
Commenting on the report, Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell said, “I couldn’t be more pleased at the significant improvement that has taken place at the trust and I'd like to thank everyone working at Eastbourne District General Hospital for all their efforts.
“The CQC report said that there has been transformed organisational culture and this is due to good leadership tapping into the wonderful staff at the frontline who have always offered good patient care.
“This change is something I have seen on my regular visits to the hospital and it has been achieved across the board in a very short space of time.
“The hospital is highly valued by everyone in Eastbourne and Willingdon so this news is also good for public confidence and I’m sure progress will continue.
“The trust has been at a low ebb these last few years and there is still much to do, but I am confident this particular patient is firmly on the road to recovery.”
Eastbourne Buzz has been speaking the Chief Executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust about the report: