Kettering General Hospital to stay in special measures

Kettering General Hospital
Image caption The hospital has been in special measures since April last year

Inspectors say that Kettering General Hospital will remain in special measures, despite improvements.

A report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the hospital is now rated as "requires improvement", an upgrade from two "inadequate" ratings last year.

The CQC said management had "driven improvements" across the trust, praised outpatient services and "caring" staff.

However, they cited waiting times at A&E, infection control, staffing levels and training as areas for progress.

The hospital remains in special measures overall, meaning it is forced by the CQC to receive support from external bodies in a bid to improve standards.

Kettering General Hospital's chairman, Alan Burns, said: "I am pleased the work our staff have put into improving safety, and the way we organise and deliver care, has been recognised with an improved overall CQC rating."

Interim chief executive Fiona Wise said: "The report is a fair representation of where the Trust currently stands,".

'Radiography service not safe'

The CQC's report was based on observations made in November and December.

"We were impressed how caring staff were across the trust which we rated good in every area." said Professor Ted Baker, from the CQC.

"However, there were services that had not improved since we last visited which the trust needs to address as a priority.

"Urgent and emergency services and diagnostic imaging were still rated as inadequate overall. The radiography service was not providing a safe service for patients."

The watchdog said diagnostic images had not been reported in a timely manner which meant the service was not managing potential risks to patient safety.

Image caption The hospital has been in special measures since April last year

In 2017, a BBC investigation found thousands of Kettering General Hospital patients had waited a year or more for operations.

The hospital admitted more than 100 patients had been harmed by treatment delays.

It denied "fiddling" the figures, but admitted there were "anomalies" in the way its waiting lists figures were compiled.

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