Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said he has ‘profound anxieties’ about the future of the town’s hospital after the latest CQC rating was released this week.
The CQC’s Intelligent Monitoring Report places the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which looks after the DGH and the Conquest, in band two – out of six bands.
Band one represents trusts with ‘serious concerns’ or in ‘special measures’.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said, “I was alarmed to read the CQC’s Intelligent Monitoring Report .
“What concerned me about the verdict is that their areas of most concern are all issues which deal with the management of the trust – issues like whistle-blowing alerts, under-reporting of patient safety and governance issues.
“I have absolute faith in the hard working staff of the hospital who do such excellent clinical work serving our community in difficult circumstances.
“But when the Trust governance is consistently getting the lowest possible rating, that explains why I continue to have such profound anxieties about the long term future of the DGH.”
A DGH spokesperson said, “We welcome the publication of the Care Quality Commission’s new surveillance model setting out a range of information held about acute trusts. Ninety-six per cent of the 150 indicators in the model show no evidence of risk within the Trust.
“The CQC has highlighted six risk indicators for the Trust. The CQC is clear that these should not be seen as confirmation of a problem but a cause to raise questions and undertake further scrutiny.
“We were already aware of these areas and have investigated them ourselves and will be working closely with the CQC to share the outcomes of these investigations. We are therefore confident there is no indication that these identified areas mean there is an adverse affect on patient safety.
“This Trust has successfully transformed the quality of services provided since 2010/11 and we have been subject to a number of inspections by the CQC. This includes a recent inspection of local maternity and paediatric services following the implementation of temporary changes in order to improve safety of maternity services.
“They confirmed that the services met all the required essential standards inspected and the Trust is providing safe maternity and paediatric care. Other areas inspected recently by the CQC include Eastbourne DGH, Conquest Hospital, Arthur Blackman Clinic and Avenue House all of which were found to be compliant.
“The CQC’s monitoring is based on 150 indicators that look at a range of information including patient experience, staff experience and statistical measures of performance. The indicators relate to the five key questions CQC will ask of all services. The indicators are used to raise questions, not to make judgements about the quality of care.
“CQC’s own considered judgements take the results of their intelligent monitoring and reports from other groups into account and, importantly, what their inspectors find during inspections.
“We know we are not in the next wave of Trusts to be inspected but we do anticipate an inspection at some point and we are confident they will find this organisation to be providing a good quality service to local patients.”