Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are expected to return to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton in the new year.
Hospital trust bosses met CQC inspectors last week to discuss progress since an inspection earlier this year led to a verdict that the Royal Sussex requires improvement.
The same rating was given to the trust that runs the Royal Sussex – the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust – and it was placed in special measures. This has resulted in greater scrutiny from senior health service officials.
The trust’s interim chief executive Gillian Fairfield said in her weekly newsletter to staff today (Monday 28 November): “Last week, along with interim chief nurse Helen O’Dell, medical director Steve Holmberg and director of clinical governance Lois Howell, I met with local regional inspectors from the CQC to discuss progress made against the improvements required by the warning notices served on the trust earlier this year.
“We showed them great evidence of the work that has been completed and still in progress to make our hospitals safer and a better place to receive care and it was acknowledged that frontline staff have made really significant changes for the better.
“Some of the highlights we discussed included
• improvements to care for patients who need to wait in the corridor area of the Emergency Department at the County
• updated fire risk assessments and associated repair works
• revisions to practice group directions for the administration of medicines
• huge reductions in cancelled appointments and operations thanks to the efforts of departments across the whole trust
• consistent meeting of cancer waiting time targets
“We also talked about the changes in place to enable better engagement between the board (and) senior managers and frontline staff.”
Dr Fairfield said that the trust had made a great start but that the board needed to continue to work hard in this area.
She added: “Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the improvements we were able to showcase at the meeting last week.
“The CQC will return in January to finalise the assessment of compliance with the warning notices and we hope to be able to demonstrate even more of the fantastic work under way then.”