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Risk to patients' safety at Kent flagship hospital

It's another blow to the people of Medway - their flagship hospital, which has been in special measures for more than two years, has again been told its casualty department is not up to scratch.

Things are so bad that the Trust in charge has reached out to other parts of the NHS for help. On Wednesday and Thursday mornings this week, ambulances won't go to the Medway Maritime but instead will take patients to Maidstone, the Darent Valley or even to Canterbury.

Bosses say it's a temporary measure but inspectors from the Care Quality Commission say there's a lack of leadership - and a risk to patient safety.

David Johns talked to Simon Bolton, Unison, and Councillor David Brake, Medway Council. Conservative.

NHS acts to make hospital changes after CQC report

Following a recent inspection of Medway Foundation Trust by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) the Trust has asked for support from across the local healthcare system to help them make the improvements needed. Ambulances will be diverted from Medway Maritime Hospital between 7am and midday on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th September. Walk-in patients to the A&E department will continue to be seen at the hospital.

Ambulance patients will instead be taken, according to clinical need, to either Maidstone Hospital, Darent Valley Hospital or the Kent and Canterbury Hospital. Some patients including paediatric, cardiac, maternity and abdominal aortic aneurysm will continue to be taken to the Medway Maritime Hospital.

NHS England is working closely alongside the ambulance service and all local NHS hospitals and providers to implement this temporary measure whilst staff at Medway Maritime Hospital continue to work to improve services to patients. We are also working with partners across the healthcare system to put in place further measures to support staff at the hospital. This includes additional training for clinical staff in the emergency department and bringing in experienced clinical staff to work in Medway Maritime’s A&E department which will allow staff time to attend training.

We are also working with local authorities and community health teams to help improve the flow of patients through the hospital. Ensuring the delivery of safe care to patients and the public in Kent and Medway is our absolute priority.


Hospital A&E still putting patients at risk

Patients in the Emergency Department at Medway Maritime Hospital are still being put at risk, according to the latest inspection.

The Care Quality Commission visited the hospital at the end of August and found that staff in A and E weren't able to cope during busy periods.

Just a few months ago a new Chief Executive was appointed to turn things around.

In a statement before the inspection, Lesley Dwyer said it wasn't possible for the trust to go from inadequate to outstanding overnight but that an action plan was in place.

Recruitment Days for aspiring nurses

Three hospitals in East Kent have held a recruitment open day for people thinking about a career in nursing.

They took place at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, the Kent and Canterbury and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

Three hospitals in East Kent held recruitment days Credit: ITV Meridian

"Our nurses are an essential part of our patients' experience and we are committed to supporting and developing staff to achieve their career ambitions and aspirations. We believe that East Kent Hospitals is a great place to work. If you are a nurse seeking opportunities that offer growth, development, teamwork and excellent care for patients, then come along to our Open Day. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to talk directly to us and find out why you should come and join our team."

– Jaz Mallan, Head of Strategic Resourcing


Woman is jailed after stealing doctor's identity

Oluwadamilola Opemuyi was arrested at a pharmacy Credit: Kent Police

A woman who admitted stealing a doctor’s identity to fraudulently gain work treating patients throughout England has been jailed for two years and four months.

Oluwadamilola Opemuyi, 29, formerly of Bridgeside Mews, Maidstone, used the doctor’s details alongside a number of false documents to find employment through a locum agency.

From 12-23 January 2015 she treated patients at three separate locations in Essex and Liverpool, as well as at two prisons on the Isle of Sheppey.

Opemuyi’s crimes came to light when she was arrested at a pharmacy in Maidstone on after attempting to collect two prescriptions she had written for herself.

She was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court, having pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by false representation, three counts of forgery and two counts of possessing a false identity document with intent.

New hospital opens in Dover

Artist's impression of the new hospital in Dover Credit: East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust

A new hospital has opened it's doors for the first time in Dover this morning.

Buckland Hospital has a minor injury unit and offers a range of outpatient services.

It's run by East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust which is currently in special measures.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

East Kent hospitals boss says patients shouldn't worry

The new health chief for east Kent - where three major hospitals are in special measures - has spoken for the first time about the challenges he faces.

Troubleshooter Chris Bown - who's being paid just under £300,000 for a year's work - says patients should not be worried because standards of healthcare are good. But, he says, there are serious internal issues to be tackled - including low morale and a culture of managerial bullying.

And then - there's the controversial plan to have just one A&E unit for a population of 700 thousand.

David Johns interviewed him for this special report. This is the full-length interview (approx 18 mins)

And here's the shorter, "as broadcast" version:

Chief Exec defends hospital Trust

The new Chief Executive of hospitals in East Kent says patient care is not suffering despite the Trust being in Special Measures.

Chris Bown says the three hospitals have a good record but there are serious issues to be tackled, including low morale and a culture of bullying.

He insists patients come first.

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