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East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust hopes special measures will be lifted at William Harvey Hospital

Health inspectors have carried out a re-inspection of the William Harvey Hospital to see if standards have improved since it was plunged into special measures two years ago.

At the East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust board of directors meeting earlier this month, chief executive Matthew Kershaw confirmed the latest inspection had taken place.

He said some initial feedback had been received and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had noted positive changes in end-of -life care, maternity, emergency care and medicine.

East Kent Hospitals Trust chief executive Matthew Kershaw
East Kent Hospitals Trust chief executive Matthew Kershaw

He told the board there were still areas for improvement and the trust would receive formal notification in the coming weeks of where those improvements should be directed.

The board agreed the Emergency Care Pathway – such as A&E departments – was a key area where performance issues needed to be addressed.

A decision about whether the hospital will be brought out of special measures is imminent but the formal report from the CQC is expected in December.

Mr Kershaw said a public consultation on clinical strategy across the whole East Kent Trust Board “would likely occur” in January 2017.

The William Harvey Hospital
The William Harvey Hospital

Sally Smith, chief nurse and director of quality, said health executives had vowed to continue improvement initiatives, regardless of whether the trust came out of special measures.

William Harvey Hospital was deemed inadequate back in September 2014, when the CQC identified “serious failures in patient safety and leadership”.

Inspectors also revealed a culture of managerial bullying and “a disconnect” between frontline employees and managers.

The watchdog imposed a programme of improvements needed in order to see the trust pulled out of special measures.

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