East Kent Hospitals Trust – CQC Report Disproportionate”
13th August 2014
North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger GALE, has this (Wednesday)
morning described as disproportionate” the Care Quality Commission report
following its inspection of the East Kent Hospitals Trust.
Speaking following the publication of the document, which
describes the Trust as inadequate” and suggests that it be put into special
measures” the MP has said:
Yesterday, the majority of the people that I represent in
East Kent will have felt that they have good hospitals with caring staff
generating acceptable outcomes. Today, they are being told that the services
that they have trusted are unsafe”.
In spite of an ageing population East Kent has one of the
lowest mortality rates in the country. Its staff are recognised by CQC as
caring, the standard of care in dementia cases is high, critical care is good
and East Kent is the first Trust ever to have been recommended for special
measures while not in breach of its Monitor license.
Of course there are issues of management and staffing that
need to be addressed and in particular there is a problem of A&E services
being overwhelmed by people using A&E unnecessarily as a GP service. As a
result of increased patient demand there have also been times when the ration
of nurses to staff has been too low and that is not acceptable.
The fact is that East Kent has had about £12 million
stripped out of its budget to help to fund Community preventative services
(money that has yet to reach those services!) and some difficult decisions have
had to be taken. The inspection, which has been described to me as
disorganised and chaotic, took place at a time when staff were understandably
unsettled by change and during a period when, at the behest of the Royal College
of Surgeons, there were serious reorganisation issues in respect of acute
Those matters, and the staffing issues, were and are being
addressed and many more nurses are being recruited to meet increased demands
and workloads but good staff cannot be spirited out of thin air. The
Chief Inspector of the CQC has been made aware of all of this but, one has to
assume that to be seen to be setting an example”, he has chosen to publish
what is in effect historic information without much revision.
East Kent`s MPs are proud of our hospitals, proud of the
medical, nursing and ancillary staff working within them, have been treated by
them ourselves and have confidence in the services that they provide.
Improvements will continue to need to be made and will be
made but it is perhaps time for Professor Sir Mike Richards and the CQC team to
consider the possibility that there is, to use their words, room for
improvement” in their own approach if they are to continue in the role that
they at present occupy”.