Hospital bosses promise overhaul after critical report

MANAGERS promise an overhaul of hospital culture following a damning report into standards of care.

Although work has been completed on the A&E ward at Eastbourne DGH and a recruitment drive is well under way, hospital chiefs warned cultural change is needed to solve long term problems identified by health inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission raised a number of ‘major concerns’ following its visit in February.

At a meeting on Wednesday (May 25), hospital chief executive Darren Grayson said, “This incident didn’t arise overnight and it will not be resolved overnight. While we can make short-term actions, changes in behaviour are a long terms process.”

The hospital’s A&E department was singled out as showing particular disregard for patient dignity and privacy, but managers explained this was because work was being done on the ward. Partially naked patients were left on show for others to see.

Chair of Save the DGH Campaign Liz Walke said communication had broken down between staff and managers and staff felt undervalued and overworked.

“I think the culture does have to change in the hospital and I think they have to be friends. I think it’s not got to be about the hierarchy looking down on its staff.

“They should be honest with them and say they’ve made mistakes and workers should come forward if they feel short-staffed,” she said.

The Trust which runs the DGH and Conquest Hospital has recently taken on 27 newly qualified nurses and is looking to recruit across the board. They believe this will not only improve safety on the ward, but will also lift staff morale.

Medical director Dr David Hughes said, “Although it has been quite hard for everyone, it provides us with a great opportunity to refresh and decide where we’re going.”

Chief nurse Jane Hentley said documenting patients’ treatment was one of the glaring gaps in the hospital’s performance. East Sussex Healthcare Trust board members said they did not want improvements to serve the sole purpose of box-ticking for future inspections.

But Dr Hughes assured them the exercise would improve patient care with doctors having a more complete treatment history to hand.

No immediate concerns were reported to hospital managers following their most recent visit last month.