Trust urged to give Eastbourne DGH staff full support

THE Royal College of Nursing is urging management at the under-pressure DGH to ensure staff have the proper support to help the hospital emerge from under the cloud of its recent damning report.

Last week the Gazette’s sister paper the Herald revealed health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published another highly critical report following a second visit to the hospital.

The first, which took place last year, saw management slammed for failing to properly provide both care and dignity for its patients.

The second study released late last week and based on a visit at the end of 2011, said the DGH was still failing in a number of areas and far more needed to be done to turn the situation around.

Darren Grayson, chief executive of the NHS trust which runs the DGH, said staff were determined to improve and a raft of changes had already been introduced prior to the report.

That though did not stop the CQC warning the trust that it is expected to “address these issues or face serious consequences.”

This week the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) – the body to which all nursing staff have to be registered – issued its response to the news.

Teresa Budrey, Sussex officer for the South East Region, was pleased to see the CQC inspection team had noted some improvements.

She told the Gazette, “We know staff at the trust have been working very hard to improve conditions since the last CQC report, and we at the RCN have been monitoring progress and working closely with nurses there to ensure robust plans are in place to improve patient care.

“Nurses are now ensuring good record keeping and providing quality data about patient experiences. We are pleased to see the hospitals now comply with many of the essential standards they were not in compliance with nine months ago, and we note the trust believes it will be fully compliant with all standards by the deadline set by the CQC of the end of next month.

“However, we continue to urge managers to ensure they provide the support and training necessary for nurses at the hospital to do what they came into nursing for – to deliver high standards of care to patients.

“We hope the recent major restructure of senior management at the trust will make it easier for them to do this.”

Among criticisms of the trust in the 55-page report were concerns over the general care and welfare of patients, staffing levels – with the CQC citing an over-reliance on locum doctors – and the trust’s ability to effectively monitor the quality of the services it is providing.

The report also said there was a lack of evidence patients with reduced mental capacity had been given access to advocacy or that best interest meetings had taken decisions on their behalf.