I visited Medway Maritime Hospital on Friday with my colleague Tracey Crouch MP to question hospital Chair, Denise Harker, and Chief Executive, Mark Devlin, about what they were doing to put right problems identified at the hospital by the country’s Chief Medical Officer, Bruce Keogh.
Today Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, confirmed that Medway was to receive special measures of support from the government.
I asked him:
Is the Secretary of State aware that in Medway we were left with just three consultants to share cover of A and E, but we have now increased the number to six, and it will soon rise to eight?
These are precisely the problems that this review is designed to root out. There were problems with long A and E waits as well as with inappropriate medical interventions and poor communication with patients, but I hope my hon. Friend’s constituents will be reassured by the transparency of what is happening today, and the fact that I am making this Government accountable for sorting out those sorts of problems.
My Medway colleagues, Rehman Chisthi and Tracey Crouch, also spoke out on behalf of hospital patients.
Rehman noted that in 2005/06 the hospital had the seventh highest death rate in the country without special measures being adopted. The ‘excess mortality rate’ now is around 8% (up to 10% in one year may be considered chance) compared to 25% in 2005/06.
Tracey asked when our constituents could expect to see significant improvements at Medway hospital and the Secretary of State said we wanted these ‘swiftly’.
I have issued the following statement jointly with Reh and Tracey:
“The Government has conducted a thorough and expert led investigation of 14 hospitals including Medway Maritime Hospital in response to the higher than expected mortality rates at the hospital, which has been shown to have existed for some time.
“The report has highlighted significant concerns over the current procedures in place to protect patients and to provide safe care in the hospital and the Government has placed Medway in special measures.
“It is vital that Medway Hospital is given the support it needs to take all necessary steps to address these concerns so that residents can have trust in the hospital providing excellent health services.”