Jeremy Hunt: Medway Maritime Hospital needs 'faster progress'
Faster progress is needed to improve a hospital in Kent which has been in special measures for more than a year, the health secretary has said.
Jeremy Hunt met with patients and staff at the Medway Maritime Hospital, which was put into special measures in July 2013.
Concerns had been raised about mortality rates and standards of care.
Chief executive Dr Phillip Barnes said issues would be fixed between two and five years' time.
Special measures are a series of actions taken to support failing trusts, including being partnered with a high performing NHS trust and having an "improvement director" appointed.
The hospital was rated "inadequate" by a Care Quality Commission inspection in July and told it would stay in special measures.
Mr Hunt said: "Hospital management are the first to accept that more needs to be done, and it needs to be done more quickly.
"The staff here... are absolutely committed to doing what it takes to turn it around and I as health secretary want to be there for them, to back them, to give them all the support.
"They wanted to have made more progress by this stage, I wanted them to have done that, but the point is that they are really determined to do what it takes."
Dr Barnes, who was appointed the hospital's chief executive in June, said: "We need to make steps in the next few months to show clear improvement.
"The improvement journey for the trust is probably going to be anywhere between two and five years, but we need to make significant progress very quickly."