PERFORMANCE: East Sussex Healthcare Trust has been placed in special measures following a critical report by the Care Quality Commission published earlier this week.

The NHS Trust Development Authority announced today the trust would be put into the regime.

East Sussex Hospital Trust

A highly critical CQC report was published on East Sussex Hospital Trust earlier this week

The CQC found that staff were “afraid to speak out” and there was a “void” between the “board perception” and “reality of working at the trust”.

The CQC rated the trust as “inadequate” six months ago but said it could not make a decision whether to recommend the trust should be placed in special measures because of the time that had elapsed between the first inspection and the published report. The trust was inspected again in March.

An improvement director, Maggie Oldham, was appointed by the TDA in August, and she has begun working with senior leaders at the trust to identify where it will require support.

The TDA is looking for a “buddy” trust to partner with East Sussex to help it make improvements. 

Anne Eden, director of delivery and development for the South at the TDA, said: “The trust has already begun their quality improvement journey. However, they will require significant support from us and engagement from other partners in East Sussex if they are to meet this challenge and reach a position where they are consistently providing high quality services to every patient.

“We have a track record of supporting trusts in the special measures regime to improve the care and treatment they provide to patients and are confident that with the right package of support in place, this can be achieved in East Sussex as well.”

A spokesman for the trust said: “The board and the trust has accepted the findings of the CQC report in full and is very disappointed about the shortfalls identified. It has apologised to the people who use the trust’s services for not meeting the quality standards local people rightly expect. It takes being placed into special measures by the Trust Development Authority very seriously but welcomes the additional support announced.”