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I am very disappointed to see that our local hospital has been declared inadequate by inspectors. It's anxious times for the city and the residents of Hove and Portslade because the hospital has been found to be especially lacking when it comes to patient safety in several areas of its work.

I will be having urgent meetings with the leadership of the hospital to find out how they will make the hospital safer and to oversee, on behalf of my constituents, that the action plan for improvement is implemented successfully. I see the problems very much a citywide issue, and am keen to work with everyone involved to try and bring about the improvement needed, in the quickest possible time.

Whilst the trust board was criticised for its lack of ownership to resolve the issues and inspectors said there was a “disconnect” between the board and staff we can take heart that its services for children and young people at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital were rated as outstanding.

I know that the nursing team will be really upset to read this report, because I've seen for myself when 'work shadowing' how dedicated they are to their job. This report has hopefully been a wake-up to everyone involved in the hospital and I'm confident the issues will be tackled.

It's good to see the chair of the city’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Councillor Daniel Yates, express his support for the changes already taking place at the Trust to address the problems highlighted in the report.

For my part I will try to ensure that no stone is left unturned when looking for a solution and that a speedy recovery for our hospital is forthcoming. I will update everyone again once I have met with the NHS team as well as the inspectors.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust Put Into Special Measures

I am very disappointed to see that our local hospital has been declared inadequate by inspectors. It's anxious times for the city and the residents of Hove and Portslade because...

A report into the botched Patient Transport contract has now been released. It shows that there was a whole list of failings in preparedness and oversight which resulted in thousands of patient journeys late or missed after the contract was taken over in April.

It's clear from the report that Coperforma's overconfidence is a major factor in this shambles, however I'm more concerned and disappointed that the monitoring process and oversight in the run-up to the hand-over was botched. While Coperforma was saying everything was fine, the evidence shows that they hadn't sufficiently demonstrated that they were ready for the contract. The report shows that some obvious safeguard - such as a phased implementation and the hiring of a PTS specialist to support the transfer - were not considered by the CCG, but should have been.

It feels like the CCG forgot about the people who use the service and who were to be impacted the most by the failings. My office was deluged with calls and emails from vulnerable people affected by this procedural failing and I will be calling for all of the report's recommendations to be implemented for any future major projects.

Botched Patient Transport In Brighton & Hove

A report into the botched Patient Transport contract has now been released. It shows that there was a whole list of failings in preparedness and oversight which resulted in thousands of...

This morning I got up at dawn and joined a team from St Mungo's who do outreach work with people sleeping rough in our city.

We walked through our main streets, church yards, squares, and along the beach looking out for people who are homeless and sleeping outside. It was alarming to see just how many people there were.

I was able to see how the team operates. They gently wake people up and carefully glean the information needed to ensure they get the right support. Most people are already known to either St Mungo's or another local agency and this is all checked using electronic devices. Its amazing how many people were very well known to the outreach workers, how trusting the relationship is, and how brilliant they were at arranging the next steps to getting them the support they need to improve their health and move towards more secure accommodation.

A few of the people we met were new to the team, one had been sleeping rough for less than a week. In this case a very rapid and intensive support package was talked about. I learned that for newcomers to rough sleeping it is essential that they get the support they need right away because every day they are on the streets it becomes harder to make the adjustments needed to rebuild life and every day they are exposed to danger.

In the past I have also work shadowed police outreach teams and I learned then that as well as being a prolific source of low-level crime, rough sleepers are also very highly susceptible towards becoming the victims of crime too. Assault and rape is far too common. One police officer got tearful telling me about a case where a homeless man was set alight by drunk people leaving a nightclub once. A local doctor believe that 50 homeless people have died in this city in the last three years alone.

When you accept just how brutal life on the streets is, and just how vulnerable rough sleepers are, it makes my blood boil at the rise in homelessness that we're seeing once again.

Most of the people I met this morning were men in their thirties or early 40's. So many of them were fully functional adults in work until one or two things went seriously wrong and life spiralled quickly downwards. Thanks to the central government cuts to community services, charities, and frontline public services, too many people are no longer caught in the safety net of our welfare state and end up out of work, out on the streets, and exposed to terrible indignity and dangers that no-one should have to face.

Soon the government will make it even harder for rough sleepers to make the journey into secure accomasation because they are about to reform the Local Housing Allowance. It will mean that many homeless people who commit to a pathway into supported living will not be able to have enough government funding to cover the costs. And, you guessed it, due to cuts to local council grants and to frontline charities, there is no other money in the system to subsidise it. That's why we've seen local hostels shutting down right at the time when the numbers of people needing them are going up.

I learned so much today, and met so many people who are battling against the odds to survive, who are enduring a hardship that its hard to imagine exists just yards away from our own homes and offices. Reducing rough sleeping by 95% was one of Labour's great achievements in office and we need that same determination once again.

I want to be a better advocate for those caught in this terrible, dangerous, and heartbreaking situation. I'll be working closely with St Mungo's, Off The Fence, First Base and other brilliant charities to see how I can make that happen. We simply accept this growing problem as a somehow 'normal' part of modern life in Brighton and Hove. Yours, Peter

Helping The Homeless in Brighton and Hove

This morning I got up at dawn and joined a team from St Mungo's who do outreach work with people sleeping rough in our city.

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