The GMB union said that it was “no surprise” that official inspectors had recommended placing Brighton and Hove’s main hospital trust into special measures.
The union said: “It comes as no surprise to the GMB and staff that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) finally placed Brighton’s failing NHS trust in special measures.
“GMB, the union for NHS workers, has called for proper funding and quality leadership as the only long-term treatment for the CQC ‘inadequate’ diagnosis.
“The news that Brighton and Sussex University NHS Trust has been placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) today will at first be seen as devastating by patients and staff alike at both the Royal Sussex County and Princess Royal Hospitals.
“But the GMB hopes that both the extra funding which might be made available and importantly the potential positive professional leadership which could be accessed by this decision could finally see the trust, which for so long has had to suffer one incompetent appointment after another, get the sort assistance and leadership both patients and staff deserve.
“Although locally blame is solely with the trust board, successive poor appointments at chief executive level have seen problems ignored and in fact exacerbated by the continuation of damaging government-initiated NHS funding reductions, recruitment problems and poor management who have often used bullying of staff as the optimal method of encouraging staff to accept extra shifts, stay late and to care for patients at times of staff shortages above and beyond what could be fairly expected and considered safe.
“Government underfunding is the purposeful promoter around seeing more and more NHS trusts around the country facing being placed in special measures despite claims that overall more money is being spent on the NHS budget.
“It’s clear that when that underfunding is mixed with poor management, the type of NHS we all talk about wanting and keeping cannot be delivered safely when the financial bottom line becomes organisationally the overriding priority.”
GMB organiser Gary Palmer said: “No blame for Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust being placed in special measures can be laid at the feet of the frontline staff at the trust.
“In fact their constant dedication and hard work in the face of poor leadership has enabled patients to get first-class quality treatment and care on a regular basis.
“The long-term damage had been done by unrealistic savings targets being set out by successive management teams unable to find innovative ideas around healthcare delivery or by failing to consult with the expertise that frontline healthcare professional could potentially deliver on savings and improvements if asked.
“We all know that the NHS has faced financial challenges for many years and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, like others, were told to find a series of efficiency savings.
“However, efficiency savings are not something which can be repeatedly rolled out on a year-on-year basis, especially if as the government has stated they wish to see high-quality and safe patient services for all.
“Many reports on inadequate services in the NHS, including those from the Care Quality Commission, will rightly focus on a lack of leadership from the constantly turning NHS merry-go-round of poor executives and board members simply moving from trust to trust as being the major problem and skip over the obvious overriding issues created in the first place from the lack of funding as the root cause of the problems encountered.
“But it is clear at BSUH that successive management appointments, including the chief execs who have steadfastly and simply followed government policy, infamously instigated by previous chief exec axeman Matthew Kershaw’s approach of cuts, cuts, cuts, continues to leave patients and staff suffering from the dilemma of are we expected to reduce staffing which is often named as the single largest element of expenditure thereby compromising quality of service delivery?
“Or are we expected to make local decisions about which services we can no longer afford to deliver? Is this the NHS we really all want?”
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.