Published: 12:00, 16 July 2014
| Updated: 13:45, 16 July 2014
The chief inspector of hospitals still has "strong concerns" about standards at Medway Maritime, Jeremy Hunt told the House of Commons today.
The health secretary told MPs that Medway NHS Foundation Trust was one of just five out of 11 hospitals said to be failing last year which will remain in special measures until improvements are made.
The Medway Messenger revealed last week that the latest inspection by the chief inspector Prof Sir Mike Richards and the Care Quality Commission had shown little progress had been made in key areas such as A&E and surgery, which were rated inadequate.
Updating the Commons today, Mr Hunt said: "The chief inspector continues to have strong concerns about Medway NHS Foundation Trust, an organisation with long-standing difficulties, care failings and high mortality rates going back to 2005.
"He recognises some progress, including the recruitment of 113 nurses but he is concerned about the sustainability of these improvements."
Prof Richards has recommended a number of urgent improvement, including targeting staffing levels, addressing the "stacking" of patients in A&E and general patient flow through the hospital.
Responding to Mr Hunt's statement, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham criticised the special measures regime. He added: "We welcome the improvements at some of the 11 hospitals and pay tribute to the staff. But is a concern that four are only showing signs of limited improvement and one, Medway, has barely shown any.
"How can that be after a year in special measures?"
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