Medway hospital death rates fall 'back to average'

Medway Maritime Hospital
Image caption Inspectors will return to the hospital later this month

A hospital placed in special measures because of high death rates has seen its mortality figures fall.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust said its death rate was now 100.19, almost in line with the national average of 100.

The latest statistics were revealed weeks ahead of a full inspection of the hospital, which will take place at the end of the month.

Medical director of Medway Maritime Hospital Diana Hamilton-Fairley said a range of changes had been put in place.

"It's no secret that our high mortality rate was one of the overriding reasons we were placed into special measures back in 2013," she said.

'Early warning system'

She said the NHS trust had made changes to ensure patients received safe and compassionate treatment with a better safety culture throughout the hospital, and a focus on recognising and responding quickly to patients whose conditions deteriorated.

Staff had also been trained on using the National Early Warning Score which determines the severity of a patient's illness and when critical care is required, she added.

New procedures had been brought in for emergency admissions, frail, elderly patients and those with chronic respiratory and cardiac conditions, she added.

Ms Hamilton-Fairley said other positive outcomes had also been seen which the trust hoped would stand it in good stead for the forthcoming inspection.

The hospital was placed in special measures after the Keogh review.

Fourteen NHS trusts were found to have high death rates in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and 11 were placed in special measures.

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