Healthwatch Brighton and Hove said that it was disappointed by the poor performance of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH), highlighted in a report issued by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) today.
The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton (RSCH) and the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH), Haywards Heath, were both singled out for severe criticism, Healthwatch said.
The watchdog added: “Based on this poor performance, BSUH is likely to be placed into special measures, be subject to close scrutiny and be required to devise a clear plan to address the issues of concern.
“The CQC report scores BSUH as inadequate overall or needing improvement against five key areas
- Safety – Inadequate
- Effectiveness – Requires improvement
- Caring – Requires improvement
- Responsiveness – Inadequate
- Leadership – Inadequate
“Three issues in the inspection report are of particular concern to Healthwatch
- Culture of bullying and harassment with a disconnect between staff and the leaders in the trust
- Poor standards of care in some areas and dignity of patients not always respected
- Strong feeling by staff that issues of equality and diversity are not always given the priority they deserve
“There have been concerns about issues of patient safety, quality of care and the poor physical environment at RSCH expressed by both CQC and Healthwatch in the past.
“CQC inspections in 2014 and 2015 warned of services that were inadequate and needing improvement.
“Healthwatch Brighton and Hove also raised concerns with the trust board and in April 2016 provided a report on the RSCH Emergency Department that identified a range of serious problems including lack or privacy, patients experiencing long waits and not receiving prompt and appropriate care.”
David Liley the Healthwatch Brighton and Hove chief executive officer said today (Wednesday 17 August): “A lack of leadership both in the boardroom and on the wards seems to have led to staff in some clinical areas losing track of some basic aspects of proper care.
“That might be hand washing, providing privacy for patients or making sure patients know at all times how their care is progressing.
“The CQC report identifies a vast difference between the excellent care being provided in some parts of the RSCH and PRH, for example, in the children’s services.
“We are aware that BSUH has a recovery plan and we have already offered our support to help improve care and leadership.
“Healthwatch has a good working relationship with the trust and we can already see changes in some areas.
“Work has already been carried out to provide better waiting space in the Emergency Department.
“However, many more improvements are required.
“Healthwatch has, over the last six weeks, been reviewing care in the RSCH Outpatients Department and will be helping the trust to improve its engagement with patients and to address issues of equality and diversity in patient care.”