East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust 'Should Be Put Into Special Measures'

CQC Recommends Sanctions To Improve Patient Care


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397
An NHS trust that runs three hospitals should be placed into special measures as soon as is possible, according to the Chief Inspector of Hospitals.

Inspections at William Harvey in Ashford, Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) in Margate identified a number of issues that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found worrying enough to recommend immediate sanctions.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the facilities, said it was already working to make sure care was to the expected standards, but the CQC wants more to be done, reports the BBC.

William Harvey Hospital has the most acute problems, with A&E, surgery and children's care all rated as inadequate by the CQC - although the other two hospitals were criticised for their A&E and surgery services.

Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the CQC, said: "It is a lack of effective leadership, alongside care failings across the majority of services we inspected, which has led me to recommend to the foundation trust regulator Monitor that the trust be placed in special measures."

The inspector added that "this will allow the trust to receive the additional support I believe it needs".

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Stuart Bain said that many of the issues raised by the CQC were already under investigation.

According to Mr Bain, £2.9 million has already been spent to recruit 69 nurses, while four general surgeons have been brought on board, with three more expected to join in the coming weeks.

Part of the trust's efforts to turn itself around includes the construction of a new community hospital in Dover, which is expected to cost around £28 million.

This hospital will provide new outpatient services and will ensure that the quality of care seen across the trust will improve, according to Mr Bain.

Work on the facility is expected to be finished later this year.

Expert Opinion
The issues that have been highlighted at the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Trust by the Care Quality Commission are extremely worrying and it is vital that Monitor takes the appropriate steps to ensure the management and staff at the facilities quickly improve standards.

“Many of the shortcomings identified echo those found by Sir Robert Francis in the report into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust where hundreds of lives were put at risk. This should simply not be happening and immediate action is needed to protect patient safety.

“Our work on behalf of patients who are not provided the appropriate care when they need it means we understand the significant impact such issues can have on the safety and wellbeing of patients. Patient welfare must always be the top priority and we hope to see further investment in quality staff and resource to ensure no lives are put at unnecessary risk.”
Julie Lewis, Partner