Chief executive says problems can’t be solved with a click of the fingers...

HOSPITAL chief executive Darren Grayson has hit back over suggestions that Eastbourne DGH has been crippled by a culture of carelessness.

Following a damning report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), listing a litany of ‘major concerns’, hospital chief Darren Grayson has denied the implication of any deep-rooted problems at the hospital. Although he admits there have been some incidents of lax care, he argued it provides just a snapshot of patient experience.

He said patients gave good reports of care they received in both CQC and DGH surveys. Indeed despite concerns raised by health inspectors, many patients are recorded as giving glowing remarks about the hospital and its staff.

“There are some exceptions where we don’t meet our own high standards. I think that comes from individual lapses. It’s not typical, there’s not a culture here, there’s no evidence of a culture of poor standards or lack of respect for patients.

“If there were, there would be a lot of evidence to that extent.

“I think what we see are some unfortunate and unacceptable lapses in care which we are dealing with,” he said.

He added, “I’m not saying they [CQC reports] don’t have value, what I’m saying is they are a snapshot of a point in time. They raise significant issues for us, many of which we’re dealing with but some we need to deal with more vigorously.”

Mr Grayson categorically rejects the CQC’s assertion that patients on the Jevington Ward suffer ‘institutionalised abuse’ – possibly the most serious allegation levelled at the hospital.

“We don’t accept that whatsoever. There was a particular episode on one of the wards which we investigated and dealt with and I want to make this very clear, it’s an issue of the trust and confidence that people have in this hospital: this is not a place where older people or patients are abused, if they were they would tell us.

“It’s one particular incident and it’s far from typical of the experience of every other patient in this organisation.”

Mr Grayson has been in his post as chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare Trust for almost a year and said that, although he had been aware of some of the problems raised in the report, change could not be enacted overnight.

“It’s not the case that clicking my fingers changes something immediately. That’s not how large and complex organisations work.

“We’re working with staff assiduously to help them improve,” he said.