PERFORMANCE: Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust has moved closer to gaining foundation trust status after the NHS Trust Development Authority approved its application to be considered by Monitor.

The trust received a positive report from the Care Quality Commission last May in which it was rated “good”.

East Surrey hospital

The TDA said historically there had been poor relationships between commissioners and the trust

A report to the TDA’s board meeting last week said that the trust had been through a “significant process of transformation” during the last few years.

It added: “Historical performance on standards relating to clinical operations had been poor, as a consequence of which it has seen a succession of leadership teams and its reputation locally and nationally has been damaged. Since the appointment of the chair and chief executive in 2010, the trust has been heavily focused on operational delivery and has succeeded in consistently delivering service performance and in particular, accident and emergency targets and aggregate referral to treatment, whilst improving the quality of care provided.”

However, it added that historically there had been poor relationships between commissioners and the trust, and “this has continued despite the change in the NHS architecture”.

The trust has “worked very hard to improve these relationships, which to some extent has been achieved but there is a lack of strategic direction across the health economy”.

The report also said relationships between CCGs in Surrey and Sussex are “poor” and this has an impact on the trust “given that services are commissioned equally from both counties”.

The trust has performed well against performance standards, including referral to treatment, accident and emergency and delayed transfers of care targets.

Surrey and Sussex chief executive Michael Wilson said: “Our staff have taken us through an incredible journey to get to this stage. I’m deeply proud how they have focused on becoming a truly patient centred organisation. We still have much to do but I’m confident, together, we will get there.”