IT IS difficult to imagine a more damning report than that of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) into our hospitals.

The Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has been placed into special measures and reading the report it is easy to understand why.

Atrocious patient care in some areas with patients being put at increased risk of infection, overcrowded and cluttered spaces with fire exits blocked, low skills sets and bullying are just some of the issues detailed in this incredibly thorough report.

There is no question that it gives an accurate report about the state of our hospitals in spring this year.

The Argus has said before there are two issues at play here. At the local level there is woeful and short-term management.

Too many chief execs have left early or are only on secondment. It is a recipe for disaster with no long-term planning or ethos at work.

We seem to have a carousel of highly paid execs who have made not a jot of difference to the poor state of our hospitals.

But the government cannot wash its hands of this situation either. Brighton is not the only trust in special measures.

An increasing number are going that way too and the suspicion must be that austerity measures across the public sector are at play here.

A new hospital is rising from the ashes at the Royal Sussex but it will be years before we see the benefit of this.

In the meantime, the terrible truth is that, in some places, our health could even be impaired rather than improved in our hospitals.

A shocking state of affairs that demands immediate intervention.