BRIGHTON's Royal Sussex County Hospital is being put into special measures, sources confirmed last night.

The decision against Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust will be made public in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report released later this week. But those close to the developments spoke to The Argus ahead of the announcement.

The news comes after the trust was ordered to make improvements to the quality of its services or face serious repercussions.

The CQC took the step in June after an inspection in April last year. The Trust was given until August 30 to respond after inspectors said patients were being put at unnecessary risk because they were not being dealt with properly or in appropriate areas.

There were ineffective systems to ensure the care, privacy and dignity of people attending either the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton or Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath as inpatients or outpatients.

The trust has also been failing to ensure patients are seen in line with national timescales for diagnosis and treatment. In many services, too many patients were on waiting lists which failed to meet national standards.

It is understood the CQC raised more than 20 urgent concerns. A spokesman said last night it would comment on the report once it was made public.

A hospital spokesman said it was unable to comment until the report was made public.

One source told The Argus the rating would leave the position of interim chief executive Gillian Fairfield as virtually untenable.

The hospital boss, who joined the trust on secondment in April, had already been under pressure with the news that the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust she left was graded “inadequate”.

Ms Fairfield joined the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust after her predecessor Amanda Fadero stepped down after only three months.

But a source also disclosed to this newspaper that the rating could be a “blessing in disguise” if it led to a troubleshooting chief executive with a proven record to be parachuted in to turn around the failing trust.

Patients will be among the first to learn of the hospital’s disastrous report as under the terms of being placed into special measures is that the rating will be advertised around the trust’s hospitals for the benefit of patients.

The trust was already graded inadequate before the most recent inspection, the results of which are expected to be made public on Wednesday.

The trust joins its counterparts at East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust which was put into special measures in September.

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