Three men who used a shotgun to terrify residents in Medway have been jailed for a total of 22 years.Read the full story ›
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.
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.
“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.”
A jury has been shown surveillance video of the arrest of three men and one woman who are accused of smuggling an arsenal of automatic weapons into Kent .
The guns were seized after the arrival of the motor cruiser in the Medway Estuary. The gang was caught by armed police last August.
They deny charges of gun smuggling and possessing firearms.
See the National Crime Agency footage in full:
Watch Andy Dickenson's report from the Old Bailey in London:
It's fast and ferocious - and it's played by youngsters across the South East.
Powerchair Football is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
So, Andrew Pate went to Medway - to find out more.
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.
It's one of life's tragedies, almost too awful to contemplate. Nothing can be as traumatic as losing a baby. To try to ease the agony a specially designed bereavement suite is to be built at one of the south east's biggest hospitals. The centre at Medway Maritime Hospital will offer parents a private area where they can try to come to terms with their grief.
Tom Savvides talks to parents Jo and David Ward, Head of Midwifery Dot Smith and television presenter Cheryl Baker, who's the Vice-President of the charity Abigail's Footsteps.
Medway NHS Foundation Trust should remain in special measures. That's according to the Chief Inspector of Hospitals.
The latest CQC report into the Medway Maritime Hospital found services remain inadequate. And although patient care is good, there are still serious issues. The Trust has apologised saying it's focused on improving services.
Medway's schools remain among the worst performers in the country - for children's achievements and rates of progress.
So local volunteers have been signing up for a campaign to improve standards in Medway's schools.
And they've been giving their time to help children learn to read. Abigail Bracken reports.
To say it's had a troubled history is a massive understatement. The Medway Maritime Hospital is in special measures. The NHS Trust that runs it has been dubbed as the worst in the country. The Care Quality Commission has demanded urgent improvements.
The hospital has revealed the latest chapter on what it's hoped will be a bright, new future. It's opened a new minor injuries unit in the Accident and Emergency department. Further developments are planned next year.
But will it be enough to heal the hospital's ills and restore public confidence? Our reporter Tom Savvides has the latest.