The main hospital trust for Brighton and Hove is likely to remain in “special measures” with an official report expected in the next few weeks.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has improved since it was rated inadequate a year ago by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), according to the trust chief executive.
Marianne Griffiths said in her chief executive’s report the trust board: “Following the CQC’s inspection of BSUH in April 2017, we are now expecting their report to be published in the next month or so.
“This will be their first report since last year’s report which placed BSUH in special measures for finance and quality of care.
“We are expecting the report to show that there have been some significant improvements over the past year in several areas as staff have responded positively to the CQC’s requirements and performance notices.
“We nevertheless expect the CQC’s overall verdict to say that BSUH will remain in special measures.”
Mrs Griffiths took over at the start of April, with a new board team, shortly before the CQC inspection team returned to the trust which runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
She said that there were areas of outstanding practice in the trust and the royal visit last week – when Princess Alexandra came to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital – highlighted one such area.
The Royal Alex was rated outstanding when the last CQC report was published and recently won a national patient safety award.
Mrs Griffiths said that leadership – in particular the stability of the trust’s leadership – and governance and organisational culture were key issues that the CQC had identified.
Work was taking place to address all of the issues identified by the CQC, Mrs Griffiths said, with a restructuring of the 12 clinical directorates under way.
She said that the “Patient First” approach being adopted and the organisational changes were part of a structured and systematic effort to embed improvements over the long term.
This was in contrast to the quick turnarounds that were usually attempted when a trust was rated as inadequate and which didn’t always bring sustained improvement.
The new board team – grafted across from the neighbouring outstanding-rated Western Sussex Hospitals Trust – is expected to be in place for at least three years. The minimum term is intended to improve stability at the top.
Mrs Griffiths also said that more services were now being shared across the two trusts.