PERFORMANCE: Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust has been awarded the highest possible ratings in the latest annual Patient Experience Action Team (PEAT) scores.

The trust was awarded “excellent” marks across the board by the inspectors, led by the National Patient Safety Agency, for cleanliness and the environment, food standards, and privacy and dignity.

The trust was rated as excellent on all three measures for both St Richard’s Hospital in Worthing, and Worthing Hospital.

The trust said the ratings “reflect the huge effort” staff have made in recent years.

Developments have included new “team cleaning” systems so each ward now gets visited twice a day by group of between six and eight cleaners, instead of the old system where each ward had just one cleaner stationed there at a time.

The trust’s hospitals now all operate a standard menu for patients and “hot hold” trolleys make sure patients do not have to put up with cold food.