Lawyers call for immediate action after report reveals hospital’s delivering ‘inadequate’ care

Medical law experts have today called on an East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to continue to make ‘fundamental changes’ after it was branded ‘inadequate’ by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The call to action from Leigh Day Solicitors, which represents a number of families of victims of negligence at hospitals across the country, follows a report published today – revealing that services provided at the Conquest hospital were inadequate, with particular concerns about the provisions of services in Outpatients and Surgery.

Following an inspection carried out in September last year, assessors returned unannounced earlier this week to see whether a myriad of concerns, including a disconnect between senior staff and front line staff, as well as a lack of vision and strategy, had been addressed.

Amidst concerns about the wellbeing of patients, leading medical law expert Emma Jones said that the ‘time to act is now’; with the CQC saying that the rating attributed would, in most cases, lead to the Chief Inspector of Hospitals placing the trust in special measures.

In a statement to press chief executive Darren Grayson said that changes had already been made, resulting in ‘significant improvements’ to the way patients are cared for. But despite efforts to improve, the CQC report prompted ongoing concern about the cultural and leadership issues at the trust.

In a previous report released in 2012 the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust was also told it had to improve the way it monitored and assessed the standards of treatment and care that patients receive.

Emma Jones, from Leigh Day’s medical law team, said: “This Trust has been investigated on a number of occasions by the CQC in recent years, with each visit exposing concerning issues with regards the culture at the hospital’s, or the care received by patients.

“Further to this most recent report it is absolutely essential that fundamental changes are now made to ensure that no patient is put at risk, and that staff have the necessary infrastructure in place to raise concerns without fear or hesitation.

“Whilst there have been improvements this has been dragging on too long, and the time to act is now. We trust that the decision with regards putting the Trust into special measures will be made as quickly as possible to ensure that, where needed, action is taken to rectify any failings and in order to reassure patients and their families with regards the care they are receiving.”