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A helping hand for premature babies as maternity unit shows improvement

Once ordered to take "urgent action" to improve safety - Medway Maritime Hospital's maternity department has made a turnaround.

The unit branded "inadequate" in 2013 and put into special measures - is now "good" - and outstanding in some areas.

And the specialist clinic for premature babies is recognised as offering excellent care - so what can the rest of the hospital learn?

Sarah Saunders spoke to mother Mofi Ariyo, neonatal unit matron Louise Proffit, Dr Aung Soe, mother Navjot Dusanj and Ranjit Akolekar of the foetal medicine unit.

James Cockram's son Joseph was at risk of a dangerously premature birth - but was eventually born at 34 weeks after his wife was given an operation to allow her to prolong the pregnancy. Also speaking, mother of Sienna - Louise Peters

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'Hospital safer, cleaner' Medway NHS Trust's response to CQC report

The Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust has responded to the Care Quality Commission assessment of the trust's care for patients following an inspection in March.

“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.”

– Lesley Dwyer, Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust
  1. Tom Savvides

Struggling hospital on the road to recovery

It's been dubbed the worst hospital in the country but after almost three years in special measures, Medway Maritime has now started to make progress. An interim report shows the hospital is safer and leadership has improved. Maternity services are also rated good. However, staff shortages and low morale still need to be tackled. Inspectors say the hospital is now on the road to recovery but it will remain in special measures for the next six months. Tom Savvides has the latest.

Medway Hospital Trust making improvements

An interim report into care at Medway Maritime Hospital has found significant improvements have been made over the last few months.

Earlier this year the NHS trust which runs the hospital was advised it would remain in "special measures".

However inspectors say they're still concerned about emergency care, surgery and outpatient services.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust was placed in special measures last year Credit: ITV Meridian

“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.”

– Lesley Dwyer, Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust

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Medway Hospital finance director quits after £1.5m payment

It's been branded one of the worst hospitals in the NHS, with high death rates, spiralling debts and it's in special measures. But it's now emerged that the Medway Maritime Hospital's Finance Director has quit after 18 months in the job, after he and his consultancy firm were paid £1.5m. Tom Savvides reports.

Bolt Partners said that, in any project that they're involved in, they have made savings equivalent to a multiple of their fees. In Medway's case, they say they have made savings of around £6.5m.

Hospital warned after surprise inspection

Medway NHS Foundation Trust needs to improve the care patients receive at the emergency department at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham.

That's the finding of the Care Quality Commission, after it carried out an unannounced inspection, following an anonymous tip-off.

The CQC has told the trust to make urgent improvements at the hospital, in Windmill Road, following a surprise inspection in December. Inspectors found the hospital was failing to meet the national standards relating to care and welfare of people, and cleanliness and infection control.

Warning notices were issued to the trust in both areas. A full report from this inspection has been published on the CQC website today.

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