East Sussex NHS 'needs more improvements'
An NHS trust that was criticised over care standards at hospitals in Hastings and Eastbourne has been told it needs to make further improvements.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised concerns about East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust after inspectors visited in February.
Roxy Boyce, of the CQC, said they had been "some improvements but not enough" and had issued a warning notice.
Hospital chief Darren Grayson said the trust was continuing to make changes.
The CQC said the warning notice found the trust was "failing to ensure the care and welfare" of patients.
'Face serious consequences'
It has until 2 September to make the improvements.
Regional CQC director Roxy Boyce said: "Despite the fact we have raised these concerns with the trust previously, they have not addressed them satisfactorily.
"There have been some improvements - but not enough.
"Failure to properly complete risk assessments and patient records means that people are not protected against the risk of unsafe care, while help with eating and drinking for those who need it is one of the basic fundamentals of care.
"This warning notice sends a clear and public message that this trust now needs to address these shortcomings as a matter of urgency or face very serious consequences."
In the report, published in May, the CQC said the trust was failing to meet essential care standards at Eastbourne and Hastings.
Inspectors found "institutional abuse" - defined as the mistreatment of people resulting from poor practice - on one ward.
Infection control was criticised and the report said patient dignity was compromised by facilities and staff attitudes.
Mr Grayson said: "I apologise to those patients whose care has fallen below acceptable standards.
"We must ensure that we get it right for all our patients all of the time and ensure the quality of our record keeping and documentation consistently reflects the high quality care that I know we provide to the majority of our patients."
He added: "To date we have taken significant steps to address the concerns raised by the CQC following their inspections in February and this has led to the lifting of two of the warning notices served on the trust at the time.
"We have a number of programmes in progress to address the concerns raised and we recognise that we are on a journey of continuous improvement and cultural change in order to embed the changes across the organisation.
"We are confident that we will have made further significant progress by 2 September."