The official health watchdog has given a “good” overall rating to the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.
In a report published today (Tuesday 9 January) the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that once again the trust merited the second highest of four ratings.
The CQC said: “Inspectors focused on three of the six core services provided by the trust.
“At a previous inspection, community inpatient services were rated as ‘requires improvement’ for safe.
“Community dental services and sexual health services had not been previously inspected.
“As a result of the latest inspection, community inpatient services have been rated ‘good’ overall and the service has been rated as ‘outstanding’ for caring.
“Community dental services and sexual health services have been rated ‘good’. Overall the rating of the trust remains ‘good’.”
The report said that the trust offered an integrated Sexual Health Advice and Contraception (SHAC) service across four locations in Brighton and Hove.
Amid the praise, inspectors said: “(The) Morley Street drop-in clinic was struggling with the demand and scale of services required by the local community.
“While the clinical waste was stored in locked waste bins, the waste area was not secure. This included the area for sharps disposal.
“We acknowledge the service was aware of this risk and had received planning permission to build a secure area and were awaiting a ‘license to change’ from the landlord.”
Inspectors spent several weeks at the trust, carrying out an inspection that started on Monday 11 September and ended on Wednesday 18 October.
The trust is the main provider of NHS community health and care services across West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and the High Weald Lewes Havens area of East Sussex.
It provides a wide range of medical, nursing and therapeutic care, helping people to plan, manage and adapt to changes in their health, to prevent avoidable admissions to hospital and to minimise hospital stays.
The trust provides inpatient services from 14 locations including Brighton General Hospital where it also has its headquarters.
The CQC said: “Inspectors found that staff throughout community inpatient services had an overwhelming pride in the service and level of care they delivered.
“There were numerous examples of where staff went the extra mile in delivering care to patients.
“Although the level of staffing was identified as an issue at some locations, the trust had put in a variety of measures to ensure patient safety was maintained.
“Managers considered the risk of staffing levels routinely at all locations and took appropriate action to reduce the risk.
“The management and quality of medical records was found to vary across the service.
“Some locations were using a single record and others had information stored in a variety of documents, which meant there was no one place for staff to access information.
“The trust was in the process of implementing a single patient record.”
The CQC’s head of hospital inspection for the south east, Catherine Campbell, said: “Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of clinical services to a population of 1.3 million people.
“During this inspection we found that the care delivered in community inpatient services was outstanding.
“Staff consistently put patients at the centre of everything they did.
“Overall we found that safety had improved and services were delivered in line with the needs of the local population.
“There is still some work to do and we will continue to monitor the service and return in due course to check the progress made in the areas for improvement that have been identified.”
A full report has been published on CQC’s website.
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