The official health watchdog is sending 42 inspectors to the trust that runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton tomorrow (Tuesday 25 April).
The inspectors, from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), are carrying out a three-day inspection of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.
BSUH managing director Evelyn Barker said in a message to staff: “This is such an important moment on our journey of improvement and I honestly believe we are ready and have a good story to tell.
“So remember, be as prepared as you can be. Be honest about the things we know aren’t as good as they need to be (and what we are doing about them).
“But let’s also be proud of all the good work we do and the positive difference we make to the lives of our patients every day … It is up to us to make sure they see BSUH at its best.”
The trust, which also runs the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Sussex Eye Hospital, was rated inadequate and placed in special measures by the CQC last August. In October it was placed in financial special measures as it wrestled with a £60 million deficit.
A new executive team took over at the start of the month and the Easter weekend provided an early test.
One of the measures – of the local health and social care system as much as of the hospital trust – is the performance in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department.
A&E staff are expected to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours. The trust has fallen short of this target for much of the past few years.
Evelyn Baker said in her weekly message to staff: “I want to start this week’s message by thanking everyone who was involved in the development of our operational plan for the long Easter weekend and the two-day Multi-Agency Accelerated Discharge Event (MADE) that was undertaken across both the PRH (Princess Royal Hospital) and RSCH to prepare the trust.
“This enabled us to start the weekend in the best possible position, with 90 per cent bed occupancy at 7.30pm on Thursday.
“The event received fantastic support from all system partners and over the two days we had participants from all three CCGs (clinical commissioning groups), all three social care services, community services and the local housing team as well as staff from across BSUH.
“I also want to warmly congratulate all those staff who worked over what has historically been a really challenging holiday period for a job incredibly well done.
“In 2016 our A&E performance for Good Friday through to Easter Monday was 80.66 per cent.
“This year our A&E performance for the four days over the Easter weekend was 96.8 per cent for the four-hour standard and we delivered over 95 per cent on each of the four days.
“This is an outstanding achievement and one that everyone should be very proud of.”
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