Worthing Hospital has been rated 'outstanding' following a report by the Care Quality Commission.
Western Sussex Hospitals is the first non-specialist acute trust in the country to be rated ‘outstanding’ in all the key inspection areas assessed by the Care Quality Commission, improving upon the trust’s first ‘outstanding’ rating from four years ago.
The government’s health watchdog awarded the highest possible rating for services at Worthing Hospital, St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and Southlands in Shoreham-by- Sea, following an inspection process which took place from June to August this year.
CQC inspectors determined services at the NHS Foundation Trust are safe, effective, caring, responsive, well-led and resourced properly — with each category receiving an ‘outstanding’ rating.
The trust’s new CQC report, published today (Tuesday October 22), also confirms Western Sussex Hospitals as the first-ever acute trust to be rated ‘outstanding’ for the safety of its services.
Chief executive Dame Marianne Griffiths said: “Our staff and volunteers are phenomenal and I am absolutely thrilled the CQC has recognised this by establishing Western Sussex Hospitals as the first non-specialist acute hospital trust to receive a clean sweep of ‘outstanding’ awards.
“For staff to surpass the ‘outstanding’ results we achieved from our last inspection four years ago is remarkable in its own right – but to do so in the context of us now seeing 55 more people in A and E every day, 4,200 more people in outpatients every month, and 5,000 more inpatients each year, is frankly heroic.
“Every time I say I could not be more proud of our people, they go and do it again. Western Sussex Hospitals is a truly special place to work and I have the best job in the world.”
She added: “I am especially proud of Western Sussex Hospitals becoming the first acute trust rated 'outstanding' for safety, because this tells our patients and their loved ones we are getting things right, that we’re learning when we don’t, and that they can depend on the people caring for them when they need us most.”
The CQC inspectors commended the 'exceptional compassion' of staff, a 'genuinely open culture', and 'an environment in which excellence in clinical care flourished'.
The report states: “Staff felt engaged and proud to work for the trust. Results of a pulse survey in June showed that 93 per cent of staff recommended the trust as a place to work and 97 per cent as a place to be treated.”
The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, visited St Richard’s Hospital yesterday (Monday October 21) to personally congratulate staff.
He said: “Throughout the inspection we found a strong culture of safety across the trust in which all staff were engaged.
"Staff spoke positively about the patient journey and the striving for continual improvement. The hard work has paid off in making a real difference to the lives of people using the services.
"Everyone who has played a part in this should be very proud of this outcome.”
The trust was also congratulated by Adam Doyle, chief executive officer of the seven Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups and senior responsible officer for the Sussex Health and Care Partnership.
Mr Doyle said: “To be rated outstanding across all domains is a truly remarkable achievement and the staff and leadership across the hospitals deserve huge amounts of credit.
"This reflects the hard work and commitment that is clearly evident throughout the Trust to ensuring that every patient is cared for in the best possible way.”
He added: “This is also hugely positive for our local and wider health and care system and is another illustration of how our increasing collaborative and joined-up working and support across partners can help to lead to improved care at the front-line of services.
“We have made significant progress across our health and care system over the last few years and, as we look to respond to the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan, this is another positive step for us all as we continue to work to improve the care for our populations.”
Western Sussex Hospitals chairman Alan McCarthy joined chief executive Dame Marianne Griffiths in thanking staff for their commitment to providing exceptional services at a time when more people than ever are in need of hospital care.
He said: “It’s remarkable that staff here are not only doing more and more, but doing better and better too. To be the first trust to be rated ‘Outstanding’ for safety, as well as in all the other inspection areas is an incredible achievement.
“The CQC’s findings are also another great endorsement of Patient First, our patient-focused strategy, management system and improvement programme which empowers staff to make changes they know will improve standards of care and patient experience.
“Patient First makes Western Sussex Hospitals an exciting place to work and I am sure our new ‘outstanding’ CQC report will help us attract even more talented people to work in our hospitals.”
Alan added: “On behalf of the board and council of governors, I wish to convey an enormous thank you to each and every member of staff and hospital volunteer, as well as the trust’s many supporters, from our members and friends to all our stakeholders and partners — thank you.”