The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Sir Mike Richards, has today published a letter to the Health Secretary, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, setting out his latest assessment of Medway NHS Foundation Trust. His assessment is based on fieldwork carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) at Medway Maritime Hospital on 29-30 March.
The CQC has found signs of considerable improvement since their last inspection of the hospital in August 2015. Specifically, they found that:
- The hospital was safer for patients
- Leadership had improved
- Staff engagement among senior and middle managers had improved although low staffing levels are impacting on the morale of frontline staff
Lesley Dwyer, Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said:
"Our ambition is to provide the best possible care to the people of Kent and Medway, and we know we still have a long way to go before we achieve that. Although we will remain in special measures, I am very pleased that the CQC has recognised that we have made significant improvements over the last few months. This is a tribute to the hard work our staff have put in to understand what wasn’t working, and make changes to benefit our patients.
"Since the CQC were here last summer, we have made the hospital safer, cleaner and more responsive to the needs of patients. Patients are now seen quicker when they arrive at the Emergency Department, see fewer different doctors, and are discharged to the comfort of their own homes quicker.
"But we recognise that there is considerably more to do. We are acutely conscious that we need to address staffing levels and recruit more permanent colleagues to reduce our dependency on agency staff. Having tackled many of the safety and quality issues in the Trust, we also need to turn our attention to making the Trust as efficient as possible. So we will continue to work tirelessly over the next few months to make improvements and ensure we provide the service that the people of Kent and Medway deserve."