12 July 2019

Trust exits special measures for financial reasons

The Trust is to exit special measures for financial reasons, following an announcement by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The Trust met its challenging financial target last year, reducing its financial deficit to under £45m. This was an improvement of over £10m on the previous year. The Trust has nearly halved its monthly deficit since 2016 and also exited special measures for quality back in June 2018.

Steve Phoenix, Chair of the Board said: “This decision recognies the important progress the Trust has made and the confidence that our regulators have in our local leadership. Although we still a have long way to go, I’m confident that we are heading in the right direction to achieve financial balance.

“All members of staff have had a role to play in these improvements, and they will be central to our continued progress. On behalf on the whole Board, I would like to thank them for their work and for their focus on providing high quality care for our local communities. I would particularly like to recognise the contribution from our clinical, executive and non-executive leadership, which has been essential.

“Financial management goes hand in hand with proving excellent care and I look forward to working with members of staff, our Board, our partners and our local communities as we continue to improve.

Adrian Bull, Chief Executive said: “I am delighted that NHS Improvement and NHS England have decided that ESHT should no longer be in special measures for financial reasons. This follows their decision in June last year, on the recommendation of the CQC, that we be removed from special measures for quality reasons.

“This decision shows that good financial management has been restored. Our financial progress is a direct result of the improvements we have made to the efficiency and effectiveness of the care we provide and the work we do in all parts of the organisation. By providing high quality, timely care to our patients, we are becoming more financially sustainable. These improvements have depended on the collaboration that we have had with partner organisations in East Sussex – in particular the close working relationship with Social Services and our local commissioners.

“Our system-wide approach to our finance challenge was supported by the joint regulation of the Trust and local CCGs established by our regulators. This, and the support given by Sussex and East Surrey STP, has meant that the East Sussex health system is now one of the most financially improved systems in the country.

“As ever, this is not the end of the improvements we need to make. We still have a significant and challenging financial target this year. However, I am confident that by working together, with a continuous focus on the quality of care that we provide, it is a target we will meet.”

The Trust was placed in financial special measures October 2016. Since that time the Trust has worked to:

  • reduce the length of time patients stay unnecessarily in our hospitals
  • reduce falls and pressure ulcers that lead to harm
  • reduce spending on temporary staff and increase recruitment to permanent posts
  • increase staff health and wellbeing and reduce staff sickness
  • reduce cancelled appointments and increase theatre efficiency
  • drive down costs of high cost medicine and medical devices
  • increase joint working between Adult Social Care and our community services
  • develop our digital capacity and spend less on costly manual systems
  • put in place stronger controls, improved reporting, and strengthened planning