Role of joint working highlighted in improvements to our system

Two of our East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) have had their recent financial progress recognised by NHS Improvement and NHS England, as the Trust was removed from special measures for financial reasons and the commissioners were removed from legal directions. Both the Chief Executive of the CCGs and the Chief Executive of ESHT highlighted the hard work and commitment of staff and the role that joined up working had played in the improvements.

Legal directions lifted and improved ratings for Clinical Commissioning Groups

Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG and Hastings and Rother CCG have had the legal directions that were in place lifted by NHS England. Over the last 12 months the two CCGs have made improvements in the governance and leadership of the organisations and financial management within the CCGs and across the wider health system.

Speaking about the lifting of legal directions, CCG Chief Executive Adam Doyle said: “I’m really pleased for everyone involved because I know how hard they have worked to make this happen. The significant progress we have made across both our local and wider system has been down to greater collaboration between partners, strong leadership and, most importantly, a real collective focus on making improvements for the people we serve. We recognise there are still areas that need further improvement but we are now in a much better position to focus on them and continue to build on the positive work we have achieved.”

Read more about the lifting of the legal directions.

The progress being made across the CCGs of Sussex and East Surrey has also been reflected in the NHS England assurance ratings published this month. Read more about the ratings here.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust out of financial special measures

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) has been taken out of financial special measures in recognition of the continued significant improvements made at the Trust. 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.

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.”

Read more about the improvements at ESHT.