Kent Hospital Criticised By CQC

A Hospital In Kent Has Been Criticised For Letting Patients Down


A hospital in Gillingham, Kent, has been blasted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after an unannounced inspection found serious failings.

Bloodstained walls, people waiting on trolleys for hours on end and "anonymous concerns" were among the biggest issues presented in the organisation's report of Medway Maritime Hospital and bosses have now been issued with a formal warning.

"On our arrival in the department there were 20 patients who had been in there for more than four hours, waiting to be seen by doctors," the report, which was seen by BBC News, said.

"Seven of these had been in the unit for over 11 hours and one patient had been there in excess of 19 hours."

Inspectors that spoke to one member of staff noted concerns about how the accident and emergency unit seemed to be "under siege", with investigations concluding the department was in a "crisis situation".

The CQC's findings follow a similar criticism from health intelligence company Dr Foster, which said its figures indicated a higher than expected death rate at the site.

But this is not the CQC's first run-in with the Medway Maritime, which was given three formal warnings in October 2013 after poor maternity care was found to be widespread.

Steve Hams, chief nurse at Medway Maritime Hospital, which is part of the Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are sorry that the emergency department failed to live up to the high standards of care we want to provide for our patients and which they have a right to expect."

But Mr Hams defended the job his hospital has done in dealing with a deluge of unexpected cases.

The chief nurse claimed his A&E department has only been allocated to treat 50,000 patients per year, but had to take care of 90,000 visitors last year and does not have the resources to cope with the increase.

Earlier this year, two bosses at Medway Maritime Hospital resigned in response to failings.

Expert Opinion
“These failings are deeply concerning and are simply not acceptable on any hospital ward in the UK.

“The problems need to be addressed immediately but it is vital investigations look into what contributing factors have caused the ‘crisis’ and how it can be prevented from happening again.

“Resource, facilities and training must all be addressed to ensure patients are given the best possible care to which they are entitled as quickly as possible to they leave hospital in a fitter state than when they arrived.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner