Medway Maritime Hospital: Emergency patients seen 'quicker'

Medway Maritime Hospital sign
Image caption Medway Maritime Hospital was put into special measures in July 2013

Emergency patients are being assessed quicker, but safe nursing levels remain a problem, according to the latest inspection of Kent's Maritime Hospital.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said Medway NHS Foundation Trust had "made progress" under a new chief executive.

But the CQC ruled it should stay in "special measures" for another six months.

The trust said patients were now seen and discharged quicker and saw fewer different doctors.

The CQC returned to Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham on 29 and 30 March after a previous inspection found the A&E department could not cope when busy.

Rapid clinics

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards has sent his initial findings to the health secretary Jeremy Hunt:

  • Increase in training and use of "patient early warning scores" in emergency department
  • New triage process, access to rapid clinics
  • Fewer patients in corridors
  • Insufficient staff to provide safe care in some wards.

In her response, the Trust's chief executive Lesley Dwyer said: "We have made the hospital safer, cleaner and more responsive to the needs of patients.

"We recognise there is considerably more to do. We need to address staffing levels and recruit more permanent colleagues to reduce our dependency on agency staff."

The trust was first put into special measures in July 2013 because of concerns about death rates and care standards.

In January the hospital was again rated inadequate and Sir Mike warned the trust's registration could be cancelled without a "clear and coherent improvement strategy".

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