MPs welcome hospital improvements after CQC report

MPs Caroline Ansell, Huw Merriman, and Amber Rudd visiting Conquest Hospital in Hastings (photo submitted). SUS-161123-162131001
MPs Caroline Ansell, Huw Merriman, and Amber Rudd visiting Conquest Hospital in Hastings (photo submitted). SUS-161123-162131001

The MPs for Hastings and Rother have welcomed the results of the local hospital trust’s latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection.

Both Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, and Huw Merriman, MP for Battle and Bexhill, have pledged their ongoing support to the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

The CQC’s report, which lifts the hospital trust’s overall rating from ‘inadequate’, commends the hospital team for having made ‘significant improvements’ to their organisation.

The report, published last week, has rated local medical care, surgery and critical care as ‘good’ with other services requiring improvements to be made before being awarded the same rating.

In order to continue with its improvements, the CQC has recommended the trust remains in special measures to continue to receive outside expertise and resources.

When the hospital trust was rated as inadequate by the CQC in 2015, both MPs urged constituents to focus on the positive aspects and support the staff to help deliver the necessary improvements.

The pair have praised hospital staff and patient groups who have worked tirelessly to deliver this improved performance.

Ms Rudd said: “I welcome the CQC report and the significant improvements which have been made at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

“This progress reflects the dedication and ability of local NHS staff.

“There is more work to do to further improve the care provided to our constituents, and I will continue to offer my support to the trust to help achieve this.”

Mr Merriman said: “It was a disappointing day when the hospital trust was put in to special measures in September 2015.

“At that time, I visited the hospitals and spoke publicly of my support as the staff began their journey out of special measures.

“In its report, the CQC has demonstrated that this journey is heading in a positive direction, with many specialities being rated as good and the hospital moving from its inadequate rating.

“I had long felt that the care of our frontline staff was not at issue but structural changes needed to be made.

“With Dr Adrian Bull’s leadership, we are now starting to see consistency.

“I look forward to supporting our hospital teams as they aim to move out of special measures.”

Both MPs, who last visited the Conquest Hospital before Christmas, are arranging a further visit together in order to show their support and thank the staff for the hard work and dedicated care which has been recognised in the report.

Meanwhile Healthwatch East Sussex described the latest CQC report as ‘encouraging’.

It also said it found it ‘reassuring’ the overall rating for caring remains ‘good’.

Director Julie Fitzgerald said: “We are delighted that the CQC recognised and valued the contribution made to the improvement process for East Sussex Healthcare Trust by Healthwatch East Sussex, its volunteers and members of the public as stated in the report: ‘The trust worked well with the local Healthwatch team and had engaged them in a number of initiatives to obtain public engagement and feedback’.”

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