Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Rated Outstanding

Patient care at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) has been rated Outstanding by the Care Quality (CQC) for delivering top care and being a responsive and well-led organization.

SASH provides emergency and non-emergency services in the areas of east Surrey, north-east West Sussex, and South Croydon.

According to, the facility was inspected in November 2018 and the recent award made them one of just nine trusts in England who have the Outstanding rating. The rating is based on the quality of five core services, namely:

  1. Outpatients
  2. Urgent and emergency care
  3. Maternity services
  4. Medical care
  5. Surgery

Along with these five services, leadership and management were inspected as well.

SASH excelled in all five as per CQC standards. The facility was first inspected in May 2014 and was rated as good overall, but certain areas need improvement, particularly outpatient services. The latest inspection saw a massive improvement in services provided by SASH including in its outpatient services. According to CQC, the facility previously struggled with the high demand for the service.

Prof. Edward Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, was quoted saying: “The hard work makes a real difference to the lives of people using the services,” and that the findings were based on a “culture of continuous improvement.”

Prof Baker congratulated SASH including its team of medical professionals and caregivers for the important achievement. As you can imagine, the chief executive of SASH, Michael Wilson, was pleased with the rating, saying patient care is provided at Sussex Healthcare in “the best it could be.”

Patient-Centered Care at Sussex Healthcare

The number of people living with long-term conditions and older people is increasing. However, historically, care services are designed for episodic and reactive care instead of focusing on providing long-term support and care for people in order to manage their own health and recovery.

Care homes have been known to deliver excellent care during an episode, but in the past, there was a limitation in the development of resilience and skills to recover faster and to sustain their health on an ongoing basis.

That being said, it’s important that people realize what patient-centered care should be, and that is to provide long term care for the aging population and not just rely on clinical results. Good thing these days, there is an increasing focus on the importance of the experience of the patient. Sussex Healthcare is one of the many facilities that offer such services, the reason why they were recently given an Outstanding rating by the CQC.

Sussex Healthcare believes that high-quality care should equate to providing the best possible quality of life. In order to provide just that, there needs to be a rethinking of the relationship between the patients and facilities that offer care services.

Patient-centered care is all about providing a personalized care program for each patient with respect and compassion in mind. This is the framework for which these challenges are addressed.

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Hallmarks of Effective Person-Centered Care

Patient-centered care that’s effective has the potential to achieve the following things:

Meeting the expectations and needs of the patient

Most people in care homes want to participate in their own care and expect the professionals in the system to help them achieve that. Patient-centered methods, such as self-management support and shared decision making, allow patients to play a more active role in defining the result of the care provided for them, manage their health, and deciding the support and treatment that suits them best. Evidence shows that patients are more satisfied with their care if they are heavily involved with the decisions and treatments that are available for them.

Improving clinical results

With person-centered care, clinical outcomes can be improved. For instance, self-management support has been found to alleviate physical symptoms or clinical outcomes in people with cancer, stroke, heart failure, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, and other conditions, at least in the short term. This improvement is largely due to shared decision making since patients are more inclined to adhere to medication.

Increasing the morale and satisfaction of staff

Patient-centered care doesn’t only benefit patients, but also the professionals that provide such services. Patients and their caregivers can work together and develop a harmonious relationship, resulting in a more positive work environment, which reduces stress, improves job satisfaction, and increases the sense of accomplishment.

Reducing the cost of healthcare

Self-management support and other person-centered approaches to care can improve cost-effectiveness and reduce service usage. When a patient frequently self monitors even after hospitalization, he or she reduces the chance of being hospitalized again. Self-management can also be the way for people to more aware and knowledgeable of the many options for treatment. More often than not, patients who are fully informed seek out treatments as they are required instead of waiting for the condition to worsen first.

Adhering to National Policy

The general health policy in the UK focuses on the three main points of patient-centered care. These are:

  • Improving people’s experiences of care: Patient experience is one of the five domains of the NHS Outcomes Framework followed in England. This ensures that care institutions follow quality standards in adult NHS services and that every patient may have positive healthcare experience.
  • Patients active in their own care and treatment: The policy also calls for care organizations to allow their patients to participate in their own care and treatment — to play a more active role in their own health, under the slogan “Nothing about me, without me.” Initiatives included in this policy include personal budgets, care planning, and shared decision making.
  • Collective involvement in service improvement, delivery, and design: The community should be involved in how health services are planned and provided in order to encourage greater accountability and local oversight. This level of engagement will serve as encouragement for all care providers to be more responsive to the needs of the community and define its priorities.

What Makes a Care Home Outstanding?

Outstanding care homes should have these three attributes:

Good Management/Manager

The ability to provide quality care starts with good management. Having a well supported, valued, and an outstanding manager will result in an outstanding facility that treats its patients with dignity and respect. The thing is, not all care manager last for a very long time. According to statistics, a third of nursing homes and a quarter of care homes lose their manager each year. There are many reasons for this, but somehow it all boils down to the lack of support and value. That along with wage and available resources in the facility.

Ethos of Caring

Along with stable and strong resources to ensure that a care facility can provide outstanding care, it is important that a home has defined its values and ethos from the very start. Everyone in the care facility, no matter what his or her role is, must share the same vision: the needs of the patients of staff must come first before profit, and that everyone is valued regardless of one’s role and status.

Tiny Yet Efficient

Most homes rated by the CQC as Outstanding happen to be small private ones. It seems that the larger the facility is, the harder it is for them to be consistent with its standards and ethos. And what’s worse is, some care homes actually put profit before its residents and staff.

Small private care homes appear to be capable of offering the best quality of care to their patients because they are able to manage people better and concentrate their funds for the right purpose. They find it easier to care for their patients and monitor each one — providing personalized care based on the needs of the patient.

You can now check out the CQC ratings of each care home in England before inspecting the facility on site. According to CQC, less than 3% of health care providers received an Outstanding rating.

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