Published: 12:00, 14 February 2013 |
Updated: 16:09, 09 January 2014
by Dan Bloom
Plans to merge the Medway and Dartford hospital trusts that were just months from approval have been put on hold amid a death rate probe.
Medway Maritime Hospital is one of 14 across the county being investigated after a report into high mortality figures.
The NHS Commissioning Board is investigating the Gillingham hospital after it posted higher than expected death rates two years in a row.
So chiefs have paused plans to merge with the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, which runs Darent Valley Hospital.
They were hoping the bid would be approved in March by the regulator Monitor.
A trust spokesman said: "The trust recognises it needs time and space to fully focus on the national commissioning board review on [death rates] and ensure that integration with Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is based on solid foundations.
"At present, it is understood this national process is likely to take three to four months. When the NCB review timeline is clearer, the trusts will be better able to estimate a timescale for resuming the Monitor process."
The hospital had already set up a designate trust board to see through the move, which chief executive Mark Devlin claimed would prevent the hospital having to cut services.
The process is not expected to resume until at least June.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
We have four editions of our Kent Homes, Gardens and Interiors magazine for you to read. Click here to view them all.