Troubled Brighton hospital trust to be 'taken over'

Royal Sussex County Hospital Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption An inspection rated the Royal Sussex and the trust that runs it as inadequate

A troubled NHS trust is being "taken over" by one of the top performing hospital trusts in England.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust entered special measures for care and finances.

The trust runs Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital and the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath.

It is being taken over by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which was rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

The trust runs St Richard's Hospital in Chichester, Worthing Hospital, and Southlands Hospital in Shoreham-by-Sea.

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NHS Improvement, which is responsible for overseeing foundation trusts, NHS trusts and independent providers, said the "new buddying arrangement" was a step towards "a longer term partnership".

Analysis: Mark Norman, BBC South East health correspondent

Staff in Brighton's Royal Sussex Hospital tell me this is a "take over" but not a merger.

They say they were "surprised" at the news and found out late in the day.

I understand there wasn't much discussion, but this will hopefully provide stability for the thousands who work in one of our busiest hospitals .

The agreement, signed between Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Improvement, has created an interim arrangement between the two trusts to begin a new way of working together.

From 1 April 2017, the chief executive and chair of Western Sussex will also carry out those roles for BSUH.

Dr Gillian Fairfield, interim chief executive of BSUH, said it had been "working incredibly hard to stabilise the trust" and had made significant progress in a large number of areas.

She said: "It is essential that BSUH keeps up the momentum it has started and this new arrangement with Western Sussex will help ensure this can be achieved both in the short-term and the long-term."

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