Hospital merger put on hold amid death rate investigation
Medway Maritime Hospital is being
investigated for high death rates
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
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
Health bosses want to
merge Darent Valley Hospital with Medway Maritime
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.
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