Published: 06:00, 07 May 2021
Two of Kent's biggest hospitals have been told improvements need to be made.
The report, issued today, follows unannounced inspections in March and August 2020 which saw the health watchdog label both with the "requires improvement" status.
The new reports are based on visits made in early March this year, specifically assessing whether the urgent and emergency care services were experiencing pressure due to winter demands or Covid.
While the QEQM's service has remained the same, the William Harvey Hospital has improved on its previous safety rating from "inadequate" to "requires improvement."
This slight change means some conditions applied as a result of recent assessments will now be removed.
Catherine Campbell, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: “I am pleased to report that there were improvements to the overall performance of the trust's emergency departments.
"While we found no real areas of concern at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital, we told East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust that it should ensure it has the right number of consultants in each department at the hospital and it should improve its four-hour performance targets.
“At William Harvey Hospital, we told the trust it must ensure that the emergency department has suitable facilities in place to care for patients with mental health problems. It must also ensure that all patients are monitored for deterioration, including those waiting for triage.
"In addition, it should consider reviewing the layout and flow of patients within the department and improve accessibility of patient records.
“Staff should be congratulated for making the improvements we saw. We will continue to monitor both services and will return to ensure further improvements are made and fully embedded."
These latest reports come just over two months after Medway Maritime Hospital's A&E and Urgent Care Facilities were rated inadequate on three out of five factors.
The CQC said patients there could be at increased risk due to the service's failing.
Overall, Kent's healthcare struggled to cope during the peak of the Covid pandemic.
As with the William Harvey's emergency care, the situation has improved.
In February, it was reported that patient numbers across the county had halved in a month - a downward trend that has continued amid the fast-moving vaccination programme.