Brighton’s main NHS hospital trust has been shortlisted for a top national award just months after an official watchdog praised its improved performance.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH), which runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital, has been shortlisted for “Acute or Specialist Trust of the Year” in the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards.
This recognises the significant improvements made by BSUH with the trust no longer subject to “special measures” for finance or quality.
The progress was noted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) when the official watchdog rated the trust “good” overall in January.
The improvement has been described as one of the fastest and most significant turnarounds by an NHS hospital trust to date.
And the changes have been happening against a backdrop of tough financial controls for the trust’s day-to-day work as well as a major revamp of the Royal Sussex site in Eastern Road.
The £485 million revamp involves replacing some of the oldest working buildings in the entire NHS.
BSUH chief executive Dame Marianne Griffiths, who was named chief executive of the year for the second year running earlier this year, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for Acute or Specialist Trust of the Year.
“This really recognises the incredible team work and dedication of our staff.
“Everyone across our hospitals is committed to delivering the best possible care for patients – and to be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement.
“We know there is still work to be done and this nomination is a real boost for staff as we continue to improve and develop our services.”
The judging panel shortlisted BSUH partly as a result of its ambitions and the positive impact that its “Patient First” improvement work has had on patient and staff experience.
The trust said: “This has given staff the training, tools and confidence to develop and drive change themselves.”
The judges looked at the five priorities that BSUH set itself and the significant progress made in each area
- Quality – rated “good” overall and “outstanding” for caring by the CQC and taken out of special measures for quality. Inspectors described a paradigm shift in culture.
- Finance – the trust met its financial target, with savings of £20 million as well as identifying a further £30 million of savings. It was taken out of financial “special measures” in July 2018.
- Culture – the 2018 staff survey suggested that there had been significant improvements in all key areas, notably 77 per cent of staff said that patient care was the trust’s “top priority”. More than 400 hundred staff and leaders attended Workforce Race Equality Standard and LGBTQ+ conferences to help shape further improvements.
- Accident and emergency (A&E) performance – the A&E team at the Royal Sussex were shortlisted for three patient safety awards and went on to win a national award.
- Modernisation – the £485 million building programme, known as the 3Ts project, is proceeding as planned with the first stage due to open in 2021.
HSJ editor Alistair Mclellan said: “We would like to congratulate BSUH on being nominated in the category of Acute of Specialist Trust of the Year ahead of this year’s 2019 HSJ awards.
“We are looking forward to welcoming them to the ceremony in November, to join us in recognising the very best achievements and innovations in the healthcare sector.
“The entrants this year have been of incredible calibre and each of the finalists in this category have been chosen based on their outstanding commitment to excellence in healthcare.”
As well as the Royal Sussex, BSUH also runs the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.