MANAGEMENT at the DGH has breathed a collective sigh of relief after a health watchdog revealed a raft of improvements had been made since a damning report into standards.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) was hugely critical of the East Sussex Healthcare Trust (ESHT) run hospital after an inspection in February 2011 uncovered a host of problems and threatened to step in if things did not get better quickly.
During that initial visit, the CQC team found careless clinicians were leaving semi-naked patients in full view of others, an injured man was left on a ward floor for an hour and staff neglecting to conceal a dead body from other patients.
Bosses at ESHT were told in no uncertain terms to improve standards and a follow-up report released this month suggests they have done just that.
Sue Sheath, of the CQC in the south east, said much had been done to turn things a round – although there were two areas where improvement is still needed.
She said, “We had been concerned the trust had been failing to comply with a number of essential standards. We formally warned that we would consider using our enforcement powers unless it took appropriate action.
“Our latest inspection appears to show considerable improvement.
“Overall, we found patients experiencing care, treatment and support that met their needs and protected their rights.
“However we found the trust still needs to do more to improve the way it monitors and assesses the quality of service provision.
“The trust has acknowledged it must improve its systems for the management of medicines. We found some medicines were not stored safely. We were also concerned there had sometimes been a supply problem which meant people did not get their medicines as prescribed.”
ESHT now has two weeks to report back on what changes will be made a result of the two failings highlighted but, despite those findings, the mood at the trust was upbeat.
Chief executive Darren Grayson said, “We are pleased these reports reflect the tremendous improvement we have made to the quality of care and outcomes for our patients.
“We are committed to getting every aspect of care right for all patients all of the time.
“We have continued to make progress since the CQC’s visit in April and I am confident they will give us full compliance when they next visit.”
Stuart Welling, the trust’s chairman, added, “We have come a long way but there is still more to do and I am confident next time the CQC visit we will be fully compliant with all the standards.”