Conquest confident it can raise standards, despite latest report

Darren Grayson chief executive of East Sussex Hospitals Trust
Darren Grayson chief executive of East Sussex Hospitals Trust

HOSPITAL bosses remain upbeat they can raise standards at the Conquest despite a health watchdog’s report this week highlighting ongoing failings.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) heavily criticised East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which also runs the DGH in neighbouring Eastbourne, earlier this year finnding a litany of problems across both hospitals.

Its original report on the Conquest cited patients going thirsty after water was left out of reach, staff lacking appropriate training and a pensioner being left on a trolley for seven hours despite nursing a broken hip.

The trust was given until September 2 to improve, or possibly face being forced to close certain services.

Hospital chiefs issued anapology to patients, promising to improve, but a follow-up inspection report released on Wednesday showed the Conquest is still not meeting some targets.

The latest report noted several improvements, including healthier staffing levels and better personal care and privacy being offered to patients, but it still highlighted a host of inconsistencies.

In one case, documentation on one patient who had fallen at home said there was no bruising or redness but CQC inspectors saw she had a badly bruised face.

Record-taking and care plans still remained incomplete on some wards during the CQC’s latest visit and levels of record taking differed from ward to ward. Some failed to take the patient’s individual needs, such has how often they needed a drink.

There was also little involvement with vulnerable patients’ families in care and treatment decisions, the CQC said.

The trust now has just two weeks to send a detailed report back to the CQC to outline exactly how it plans to improve standards before the September 2 deadline.

Earlier this week the trust’s board met at the DGH to discuss the CQC report.

Darren Grayson, chief executive, said compliance was essentially ‘the day job’ and staff should not be looking at it as anything they should not have been doing already.

He told fellow members the focus should be less on compliance with the report and more about giving the patients ‘the standards they deserve’.

Mr Grayson said: “We still have some way to go but we have done a hell of a lot of work. There is more to do and we have continued to make improvements since this visit.

“We are committed to get every aspect of care right for all our patients all of the time.

“It is pleasing to note that the positive views of patients about their care, treatment and support are also reflected in our own patient satisfaction discharge survey, with 95 per cent of patients rating their overall care as ‘good’, ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ between April to June this year.

“I am confident the actions we are taking will address the concerns raised by the CQC.”