Hospitals trust denies MP’s claims patients are unsafe

The Kent and Canterbury Hospital

The chief executive of east Kent hospitals has rejected claims by MP Rosie Duffield that its patients are unsafe.

Earlier this week the Labour MP for Canterbury released a letter she had written to the chief inspector of hospitals detailing concerns she has over the running of the hospitals trust.

They include deaths caused by falls at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, errors in the recording system for X-rays across the trust and an assertion that staff at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate had infected babies with MRSA.

In response, the trust says it is updating its X-ray recording system and denied that any babies had been infected with MRSA, but accepted that “six babies…were found to have traces of a community strain of MRSA on their skin” at the William Harvey Hospital.

The trust added that patient falls took place across the NHS, that it took the issue of fall prevention “extremely seriously” and that the number of falls taking place was dropping.

Susan Acott is calling for a meeting with MP

Susan Acott, the chief executive of the east Kent hospitals trust, said: “The trust welcomes scrutiny from MPs as part of reassuring them, their constituents and our patients that our services are safe.

“Although I have not received any correspondence from Rosie Duffield MP, I have contacted her office and asked to meet her.

“In my new role as permanent chief executive I look forward to the opportunity to brief her thoroughly on the complex and clinical issues we discuss transparently in our open public board meetings.

“Clearly, the discussions at board meetings are high-level and presuppose detailed knowledge of the local NHS as well as clinical understanding.

“I look forward to the MP’s office replying to my request so I can address the misunderstandings that have been reported.”

The trust also contested a claim Ms Duffield had made in her letter that it was the sixth worst performing hospital in the country.

It said: “We are unsure which official figures Rosie Duffield MP’s release is referring to. We are attempting to speak with her office for clarification.”


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