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Hospitals in Special Measures

Volume 618: debated on Tuesday 20 December 2016

We want the NHS to offer the safest, highest quality care anywhere in the world, so we are now tackling unacceptable performance. That is in contrast to the Labour party, which ignored failures for so long. Since introducing the rigorous special measures inspection regime, 31 provider trusts have gone into Care Quality Commission special measures, of which 15 have been turned around as a result of significant quality improvements. I congratulate again the staff of Sherwood Forest, Wye Valley, Norfolk, and Suffolk trusts, all of which have come out of special measures in recent months.

Medway Maritime Hospital has made significant improvements since it was put into special measures: mortality rates and length of patient stay are down; leadership is excellent; and there has been extensive investment in the A&E. Does the Minister agree that it is the right time for the hospital to come out of special measures? Will he join me in paying tribute to the excellent work of the hospital’s staff?

I congratulate my hon. Friend on his role in championing Medway Maritime Hospital, which I visited earlier this autumn. The CQC is in the process of re-inspecting Medway and will publish its findings in the new year. I congratulate the trust on its improvements thus far that were highlighted by my hon. Friend, which include reducing its average length of stay on admission wards from 11 days to only 3 days.

A recent damning report on maternity care from the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust care referred to appalling neglect that lead to the avoidable deaths of mothers and babies. The trust has implemented an improvement plan, but plans for maternity services under the Making It Better scheme were based on a predicted birth rate of 3,500 a year, and the reality is that the trust deals with 10,000 deliveries a year. What action will the Minister take to address that situation?

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for raising some of the issues at the Pennine trust. We are well aware that it needs improvement, which is why we have buddied it up with the outstanding Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust next door. The Salford trust is led by Sir David Dalton and the Secretary of State referred to it earlier. I will take up the matter raised by the hon. Lady directly with Sir David.