The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton

Trust approves help for neighbour

Thursday March 30, 2017

The Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WSHFT) Board has formally approved proposals for its executive team to help staff at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) to improve the safety, quality and sustainability of services there.

The agreement means the Chairman, Chief Executive and Executive Directors of Western Sussex will take on the leadership of BSUH as well as WSHFT for a minimum of three years beginning on April 1.

During this time, the objective is for the WSHFT executive team to help BSUH move out of Special Measures on quality and finance, build on A&E improvements, progress the ‘3Ts’ hospital redevelopment programme and develop an organisational culture that can sustain improvement into the longer term.

Helping our neighbour is the right thing to do, but we have spent a lot of time making sure it is an achievable thing to do

The two trusts remain separate and independent under the new management arrangements.

Western Sussex will be providing leadership support at the request of hospitals regulator NHS Improvement, who will invest additional funding to support the plans.

WSHFT is one of only five acute hospitals in England to be rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and will be putting in place a number of new measures to ensure it maintains that level of performance and continues to improve services of its own.

The Western Sussex Board approved the agreement after a full impact assessment satisfied its members that performance at the trust would not be compromised.

To mitigate that risk, WSHFT will have a new managing director to take responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the hospitals, while new directors will also be appointed to work below Board level in a move that will enable the executive team to take a more strategic role across the two trusts while retaining direct lines of accountability into each.

WSHFT Chief Executive Marianne Griffiths said: “We’ve known from the outset that helping our neighbour is the right thing to do, but we have spent a lot of time over the last four months making sure it is an achievable thing to do, not just in terms of helping BSUH improve but doing so while continuing to build on the progress we have made at Western Sussex too.

“To make sure we do that, we will be strengthening the leadership team within the trust and prioritising the three things we think will have the greatest influence on the future of our services – monitoring and maintaining our CQC standards, expanding our Patient First improvement programme and supporting the development of the Coastal West Sussex Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) too.”

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