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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care services in England. It is their job to make sure that your health and social care services are providing people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care. They inspect services to check they are meeting national standards and the results are then published on the Care Quality Commission website.

Our Care Quality Commission Inspection

Our latest inspection by England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals saw the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) rated as GOOD overall and OUTSTANDING in some areas.

When inspection teams led by the independent Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited our services, they noted improvement since their last inspection in 2015.

The improved ratings reflect the hard work and dedication of our teams, who have a positive culture where “managers and staff embraced an improvement culture and tried hard to improve the quality and sustainability of services.”

This report confirms that we are continuing on our journey of continuous improvement.

All our teams have been working really hard to make sure that we are always focussed on doing everything we can to improve what we do for the benefit of patients and the public.

I'm delighted for everyone at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust that this work has been recognised. We now want to make sure we take things to the next level.

Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive

Overall rating

The Care Quality Commission inspected three out of six core services. This included community inpatient services, community dental services and sexual health services.

Their overall rating of the Trust has not changed. However, ratings have been upgraded in community inpatient services. Community dental services and sexual health services were inspected for the first time and rated Good overall.

Caring services

One of the biggest areas of success noted by inspectors was in our inpatient units, which are now rated as Outstanding for providing ‘caring’ services.

Inspectors noted that “Staff delivered outstanding care to patients. We saw numerous examples where staff had gone the extra mile. Staff consistently demonstrated patients at the centre of everything they did.”


Inspectors highlighted that the Trust has “an open and honest culture which reflected throughout all levels of the organisation.”

They also noted that “Staff at all levels were clear in their roles and responsibilities in the delivery of good quality care. Leaders were dedicated, experienced and staff told us they were visible throughout the organisation.”

Patient Safety

Our overall rating of safe stayed GOOD however improvements were noted at our inpatient units. Inspectors stated: “Safety had improved overall and managers closely monitored staffing issues and addressed them as required. Medicines management and audit had improved.”

If you’d like to see the December 2023 data on Safe Staffing levels and Care Hours per Patient Day for various trust sites, please take a look at our report.

Areas for improvement

As part of the Care Quality Commission's recommendations, the inspectors advised Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust to:

  • display consistent advice on how to complain throughout all locations
  • improve referrals to mental health services and the monitoring and administration of pain relief
  • ensure consistent management and quality of medical records applies across all locations

Based upon the Chief Inspector's feedback, the Trust is committed to learning and continues to improve.

Full Care Quality Commission report

Page last reviewed: 08 April 2024
Next review due: 08 October 2024