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Hospitals in Special Measures

Volume 598: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2015

The 21 hospitals that have been put into special measures under the new inspection regime have recruited 458 more doctors and 1,012 more nurses, and all of them have made good progress, including the Medway and Burton hospitals.

I thank the Secretary of State for the support that he has given Medway Maritime hospital. Will he welcome the appointment of a chief quality officer at Medway hospital? It is one of only two trusts to have done that, and it is helping to improve safety and bring Medway out of special measures. Will he join me in paying tribute to the brilliant staff at Medway hospital, who are working day and night to turn things around?

I do pay tribute to them, and I welcome Dr Trisha Bain to that post. Ten years ago, that hospital had one of the worst mortality rates in the country. Since then, it has recruited nearly 100 more doctors and 83 more nurses, and has teamed up with Guy’s and St Thomas’. There is a culture of transparency and honesty about failings and a rigorous focus on improvement that were not there before. I hope that the whole House will welcome that change in culture.

My local hospital, Queen’s hospital in Burton, has worked closely with Monitor to improve while it has been in special measures. Does the Secretary of State agree that, although spending four nights in ward 7 was not the best way for me to start the general election campaign, all the staff should be congratulated on the way they have approached the need to improve?

I am sorry that my hon. Friend had to go to hospital at the start of the election campaign, but I congratulate her on being probably the only Member of the House to have launched their campaign from an NHS hospital ward. I trust that all the nurses voted for her as a result.

Inexplicably, the trust that my hon. Friend talked about was made a foundation trust in 2008, despite a number of problems that were not recognised. Since then, it has made dramatic improvements in its care, with more doctors and more nurses. I am delighted that it is on track to deliver better care.

How many of the hospitals in special measures have implemented recommendation 13 of the final Francis report on fundamental standards?

I would expect that all trusts have done so. If they have not, they will not come out of special measures. That is the benefit of a rigorous, independent inspection regime. Seven trusts have come out of special measures. I hope that the others will come out in due course, but that is not a decision for me; rightly, it is a decision for the chief inspector of hospitals.

The NHS in my constituency has moved beyond special measures into the success regime. Will the Secretary of State consider innovative models of care, because my constituency is very different from others and the trust will not achieve success without looking at how it can deliver safety in different ways?

The hon. Lady is absolutely right. The big change that we need in the NHS is to move away from the dependence on hospital care as the only way to deliver safe, effective care. That is why we put £200 million into the vanguard programme last year, which is looking at such models. I hope that the success regime will hasten the innovation in her area.

20. Now that the Mid Staffs trust board has been dissolved, will my right hon. Friend advise me on which is the appropriate body to deal with historic complaints against the previous trust, not only to provide answers for patients and family members, but to ensure that lessons are learned to improve patient safety? (900795)

In the first instance, patients who are concerned about safety should contact the trust concerned, even though it is a different trust legally from the one that was there before. The CQC is there to ensure that any lessons about the safety of care are disseminated throughout the NHS. That is an important part of the transparency culture that we are introducing.