Hastings councillor calls for East Sussex hospital trust bosses to resign ‘immediately’

Councillor Mike Turner
Councillor Mike Turner

A Hastings borough councillor has called for hospital bosses to resign after a CQC report rated the trust ‘inadequate’.

Councillor Mike Turner is calling for Darren Grayson, chief executive, Stuart Welling, chairman and the board of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to be replaced with ‘new management’.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust was rated ‘inadequate’ by CQC inspectors in March.

Cllr Turner, who sits on East Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “I appreciate that some patients will have experienced a good standard of care at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust but others have not.

“However, the Care Quality Commission in its latest report has assessed the trust as being ‘overall inadequate’.”

Cllr Turner said although the report praises some areas of care it is critical of other services.

“In addition to other serious concerns the report is critical of the standard of management and leadership,” he added.

Last week East Sussex’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) unanimously delivered a vote of no confidence in the trust’s chairman and chief executive. But they said they have ‘no intention’ of resigning.

Cllr Turner said he requested a report from the trust regarding the CQC report at a meeting of East Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board on April 28.

“I expressed my profound concern about the CQC report and I commented that if any other public service such as a school was deemed ‘inadequate’ by its regulatory body the head teacher would be dismissed and that I wanted to hear what the Trust’s chief executive had to say about the matter.

“The board did not get a report from the chief executive he merely responded to my concerns with sarcastic comments and proceeded to make light of the CQC findings. My concerns met with the same contemptuous response that HOSC would soon experience.

“I consider it imperative that the chief executive, chairman and the trust board are immediately removed and replaced with new management to rebuild public confidence, good leadership and a competent standard of clinical governance.”

Stuart Welling, chairman, said: “The chief executive and I have no intention of resigning. There is still work to be done here, the organisation is on a journey of improvement and it takes prolonged and sustained effort to resolve.

“We are confident that with the support of the board and staff we will be able to make the improvements required. We highlighted to the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee a great number of improvements that have already been made since the CQC’s first inspection.

“We have an action plan to address the issues raised by the CQC report which we are diligently working towards delivering.”

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