‘Outstanding’ rating for Surrey And Sussex Healthcare trust

SASH celebrating the Outstanding rating
SASH celebrating the Outstanding rating

The NHS trust which runs East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, and provides services at Crawley and Horsham hospitals, has been given an ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission.

The report into Surrey And Sussex Healthcare (SASH) Trust was made public today (Friday January 18).

Anne Eden, Regional Director South East, NHS Improvement and NHS England

Anne Eden, Regional Director South East, NHS Improvement and NHS England

To be classed as ‘outstanding’ is a rare distinction - the CQC’s figures for the previous month say less than three per cent (32 out of 1110) of health and care providers received this rating.

“I am absolutely thrilled that all the hard work and commitment of everyone at SASH to making patient care the best it can be has been recognised and rated as Outstanding,” said Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive of SASH.

“Every day our people care for thousands of patients and I am so proud that their fantastic commitment and hard work has been recognised.”

A team of CQC inspectors, who visited SASH in November, inspected five core areas of patient care at SASH in five key domains and rated Caring; Responsive and Well-led as ‘Outstanding’ and Safe and Effective as ‘Good’. In addition, following a detailed assessment, NHS Improvement rated SASH’s use of resources as ‘Outstanding’.

Michael Wilson chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH). SUS-160614-105619001

Michael Wilson chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH). SUS-160614-105619001

This gave the trust an overall rating of Outstanding for the organisation - an increase from the previous Good rating given to SASH by the CQC in 2014.

Positive comments from the CQC inspectors’ report included:

· ‘Patients we spoke with, including volunteers and support staff were unwavering in their praise about the ward-based staff of all grades for ‘going the extra mile.’

· ‘Staff involved patients and those close to them in decisions about their care and treatment.’

· ‘Patients had been involved in service improvement activities within the department.’

· ‘Staff told us they felt well supported, valued and that that their opinions counted.’

· ‘Unmistakeable evidence of sustained improvement.’

· ‘Staff were highly motivated and inspired to offer care that was kind and promoted people’s dignity.’

· ‘We observed many staff in different roles interact with patients in a kind, respectful and considerate way.’

They also noted that ‘The Trust had a very clear strategy, vision and values, which underpinned an exceptional culture which placed patients at the heart of all they did.’


“Well done to everyone.”

Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Edward Baker, said: “Many congratulations to everyone at the trust for achieving an Outstanding rating. This could not have been accomplished without the commitment and hard work of the staff and leadership of the trust. Well done to everyone.”

Richard Shaw, chair, joined Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive, in thanking staff for their unfailing commitment to patients and also for the care and kindness that they show to each other.

“To be rated Outstanding by the CQC is an absolute credit to our people and to their unfailing focus on getting it right for the thousands of patients that they care for every day.”

Anne Eden, Regional Director South East, NHS Improvement and NHS England said: “My huge congratulations to everyone at SASH who has worked so hard over recent years to deliver lasting improvements in the quality of care for patients.

“The transformation and improvement to take the Trust to one of only a handful to be rated outstanding across the country is incredible. An outstanding rating from the CQC is never easily won.

“In 2015, the Trust was chosen by NHS Improvement as one of five trusts across the country to participate in an innovative, five-year development partnership to drive necessary improvements in the quality and sustainability of the care provided at the trust. This partnership, learning from the Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle, demonstrates what is possible when the NHS is not afraid to learn from excellence in others.

“The combination of the commitment of all staff putting their patients’ safety and experience at the heart of all they, exceptional leadership providing a clear vision and expectations for everyone and investment in new facilities has transformed the quality of care provided locally beyond recognition. Everyone working at the trust should feel very proud of the achievement today.”


“The hard work makes a real difference to the lives of people using the services,”

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Edward Baker, said: “In May 2014, our inspectors found Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust was providing services that were rated Good overall – but with some areas for improvement particularly in outpatient services.

“I am delighted to report that Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has built on those findings - not just in those areas where improvements were required, but in all areas.

“The trust’s determination to develop a culture of continuous improvement has improved services for patients across the board – enough to ensure that the overall rating has moved to Outstanding.

“Staff spoke positively about the patient journey and the striving for continual improvement. This was especially clear in medical care and maternity which we rated overall as Outstanding and surgery which we rated as Outstanding for both caring and well led, with staff working effectively as a team in a coordinated way for the patients’ best interests.

“The hard work makes a real difference to the lives of people using the services, Everyone who has played a part in this should be proud of this great achievement.”

The inspection found significant improvements in Outpatients, which had previously struggled with the high demand for the service. Staff and leaders reported that the culture had improved.

There were quality improvement projects underway and staff had received training and were supported to identify areas for improvement themselves. Inspectors found that the trust had a clear vision and values which underpinned an exceptional culture placing patients at the heart of all they did, in all areas of the trust.

Recruitment and staff education was values led. Succession planning was thoroughly embedded which meant staff stayed within the organisation.

Staff went above and beyond to meet the emotional and physical needs of patients. They took the time to get to know and understand patients and ensure they were comfortable, responding compassionately to those in pain or distress and giving reassurance and support.

Overall, inspectors identified a number of areas of outstanding practice, including: The maternity team had been shortlisted in national awards under the maternity safety category for the development of safety pin notices - that are used to share lessons that improve patient care.

These were displayed in all clinical areas and were sent as weekly updates to all staff across the organisation. The initiative had been shared and adopted by NHS trusts across the country.

Full reports are available at: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RTP


See also: https://www.crawleyobserver.co.uk/news/health/ambulance-service-hitting-targets-for-most-severe-calls-but-response-for-less-serious-categories-not-good-enough-1-8777461