Kent

Medway Maritime Hospital 'must still improve'

Medway Maritime Hospital
Image caption Inspectors revisited the hospital in April

A hospital that came out of special measures last year still requires improvement, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have said.

Inspectors have revisited Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent, which was in special measures for nearly four years.

Hospital boss Lesley Dwyer said she would have liked more progress but added it "was bound to be a challenge".

At the top of the list of action points, the trust was told it had to increase consultant cover in A&E.

The CQC's deputy chief inspector of hospitals, Amanda Stanford, said the hospital had come a long way but added: "There is still a lot more work to be done."

Ms Dwyer, Medway NHS chief executive, said: "We are pleased that we have retained our 'requires improvement' rating despite a very challenging winter.

"We know we have made some excellent progress over the last two years, but also that we still have more to do."

'National shortage'

Inspectors looked at whether services were safe, responsive and well-led and found they required improvement.

They examined whether services were effective and caring and rated the hospital as good on both counts.

In the emergency department, the hospital was not meeting requirements of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, which states consultant cover must be provided for a minimum of 16 hours a day.

This had remained unchanged since the previous inspection and the target was still not met, despite locums being used, the CQC said.

Ms Dwyer said the trust hoped to appoint more consultants in coming weeks, and middle-grade doctors had been recruited and were training to become consultants.

She said there was a nationwide shortage of consultants in emergency medicine.

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