The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced in Parliament today that the Medway NHS Foundation Trust has been placed in special measures following "fundamental breaches of care".
Medway is one of eleven out of the fourteen trusts that have been put under further investigation by NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh. Mr Hunt announced that the standard of care at the trust, which runs the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, were put under the spotlight following the recent inquiry into care at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. An investigation of the mortality rates at Medway revealed that the hospital had 1,745 deaths in a year (210/2011) - 238 more than expected.
The Medway NHS Foundation Trust came in the bottom 12 of all 145 English hospital trusts for the end of last year and the recent investigation uncovered "more worrying findings".
Referring specifically to Medway, Mr Hunt told the Commons "A public consultation heard stories of poor communication with patients, poor management of deteriorating patients, inappropriate referrals and medical interventions, delayed discharges and long A&E waiting times."
Under the special measures introduced the trust will have to implement recommendations from the Keogh Review. This will include regular visits from external teams; health care regulators will assess the quality of leadership at the hospital/s and the removal of any senior managers unable to lead the improvements required; and the hospital/s will be partnered with high-performing NHS organisations from other area.