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Why FT: Quality Strategy
Quality and safety have been at the heart of everything we have done since the establishment of Western Sussex Hospitals in 2009 – and are at the centre of our future plans as an NHS Foundation Trust.

Our staff are committed to achieving the highest possible standards for all the people we serve; and our vision statement – ‘We Care’ – underlines the simple strength of that pledge. We care about patients; we care about quality; we care about safety.

The importance of those three areas of focus is formalised in our Quality Strategy; which sets out the ways in which we deliver quality health care services and those in which we measure and demonstrate how we do this.

As well as helping make our vision a reality as a Foundation Trust; the Quality Strategy will also enable us to meet the requirements of wider NHS standards; which are also placing a growing emphasis on the quality of services all health organisations provide; rather than; say; the speed and cost at which they do so.

Western Sussex Hospitals’ Quality Strategy follows the recommendations of The Darzi Report in focusing on achieving quality in the three essential elements of patient care:

  • Patient outcomes

  • Patient safety

  • Patient experience

Patient outcomes

Our overall objective is to cut the Trust’s mortality rate by 10 per cent by the end of 2012.

To achieve this; we will specifically target improvements in the care of people who suffer strokes and hip fractures; and reductions in the rates at which patients have to return to hospital after being discharged. We will also undertake an in-depth analysis of elderly care medicine to see what changes can be made there too.

Patient safety

Our goal here is reduce the level of avoidable harm suffered by patients in connection to their hospital care.

Measures we will be taking to do so include improving medicine prescribing practices; continuing to fight against healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) such as MRSA and C.diff; reducing the risks to patients of falls; and improving the safety of operations.

Patient experience

We also want more patients to be happy to recommend our hospitals to their families and friends – the best evidence that they have experienced quality care.

Key to this will be improvements in discharge planning; reductions in delays to patients returning home; better food and nutritional care; higher standards of cleanliness; better administrative procedures; and quality customer service.

We believe our services are already of a very high quality; but we want to continue improving further still.

Becoming a Foundation Trust now puts us in the best possible position to deliver the measures set out in the Quality Strategy that will enable us to do so.