Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Agenda Item  7


Subject:        Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection of University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust: May 2023 Inspection Report


Date of meeting:    12 July 2023


Report of:                 Executive Director, Governance, People & Resources


Contact Officer:      Name: Giles Rossington

                                    Tel: 01273 295514



Ward(s) affected:   All



For general release



1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the statutory regulator of NHS services. This report presents information on the recently published CQC inspection report on University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSx), with particular focus on the CQC’s findings in relation to the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH).


1.2         The May 2023 CQC Inspection report of RSCH is attached as Appendix 1 to this report. Information from UHSx in response to the CQC’s findings is attached as Appendix 2.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That Committee notes the Care Quality Commission’s May 2023 report on University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, and the Trust’s response to the report.


3.            Context and background information


3.1         The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the statutory regulator of health and care services in England. Part of the CQC’s work is to conduct a rolling inspection programme of NHS providers, as well as spot inspections of providers where there are particular grounds for concern. The CQC grades NHS Trusts, individual hospitals and individual services as either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. Trusts and Trust services are evaluated in terms of six domains: safe, effective, caring, well-led, responsive, and use of resources.


3.2         University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSx) is an NHS Trust which runs a number of acute hospitals across Sussex, including St Richards Hospital, Chichester; Worthing Hospital; the Princess Royal Hospital, Hayward’s Heath; the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton; and the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH), Brighton.


3.3         The CQC inspected maternity services at all UHSx hospitals in 2021. It also inspected surgery at RSCH at the same time. The CQC published a report in December 2021, downgrading RSCH maternity and surgery from good to inadequate. The CQC also inspected RSCH urgent & emergency services in 2022, publishing a report in July 2022, downgrading RSCH urgent & emergency from good to requires improvement.


3.4         UHSx, supported by partners across the local health and care system, developed and implemented action plans in response to the CQC’s findings. The HOSC received a progress report on these in October 2022. This showed that the Trust had made good progress in enacting the CQC’s recommendations for improvement, although there was still more improvement work to be done, particularly in terms of surgery.


3.5         The CQC has subsequently conducted a further inspection of UHSx, this time focusing on the well-led domain. The CQC inspection report, published on May 15th 2023, found significant leadership failings at the Trust, and downgraded the well-led domain to inadequate. Overall, the Trust is now rated as Requires Improvement but outstanding in the effective and caring and domains. The hospital rating for RSCH has been downgraded from good to inadequate.


4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         Not relevant to this report for information.


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1         None for this information report.


6.            Conclusion


6.1         Members are asked to note the publication of the recent CQC inspection report, and to note the measures UHSx is taking to address the CQC’s recommendations for improvement.


7.            Financial implications



7.1       Not relevant to this report for information.



8.            Legal implications


8.1       There are no legal implications to this report.


Name of lawyer consulted: Elizabeth Culbert     Date consulted 01.06.2023


9.            Equalities implications


9.1         None directly to this report for information.


10.         Sustainability implications


10.1      None directly to this report for information.




Supporting Documentation


1.            Appendices


1.            CQC Inspection Report, Royal Sussex County Hospital, May 2023

2.            Presentation in response to the CQC report (provided by University Hospital Sussex NHS Foundation Trust)