Brighton hospital bosses outline steps to tackle shortage of beds and criticisms of performance

Posted On 15 Jan 2016 at 12:09 pm

Bosses at Brighton and Hove’s main hospital said that steps were being taken to tackle a shortfall of beds and improve care for patients.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will revisit the hospital in April to see how the measures are working.

Garden waste

Senior doctors and board members from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) said that new wards were being opened to meet the shortfall of 94 beds.

They said that the shortfall had affected the ability of medical staff to see patients promptly in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Amanda Fadero

Amanda Fadero

The new capacity included the opening of the Newhaven Community Ward. The 20-bed ward is on the site of the old Newhaven Downs Hospital.

It is being run by Sussex Community NHS Trust (SCT) for patients who have been discharged by BSUH from the Royal Sussex County Hospital or the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH).

BSUH has also opened Plumpton Ward in Haywards Heath, with 20 beds which are helping to relieve pressure on the Emergency Department.

Chief nurse Sherree Fagge said that she was looking forward to welcoming 50 inspectors for the CQC visit – and said the more the better.

They will, she said, be able to get out into the hospital and its wards and see some world class doctors, nurses and care.

And they will speak to staff and patients about the care being provided.

The week-long inspection is scheduled to start on Monday 4 April and end on Friday 8 April.

Sherree Fagge

Sherree Fagge

Acting trust chief executive Amanda Fadero that the trust was determined to improved “the unscheduled care pathways” for the benefit of patients. But, she added: “This is not a quick fix. This has to be about sustainable long-term change.”

She said that the changes were clinically led and aimed at improving quality and safety.

Sherree Fagge and Amanda Fadero were joined by BSUH chief operating officer Mark Smith, A&E consultant Martin Duff and Sarah Doffman, a clinical director at the trust.

They were sharing the challenges and the steps they were taking with members of Brighton and Hove City Council.

The council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee called the special meeting because of concerns arising from two CQC inspections in the past two years.

The CQC said in August 2014 that the trust “requires improvement” and in October last year that there were too few staff and a lack of facilities.

The trust said that the eight-year £485 million modernisation would help but it was already rigorously looking at ways to improve processes and procedures in the meantime.

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