Labour’s Clair Hawkins says people in Dover and Deal deserve better following recommendations to place East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust in special measures.
Ms Hawkins, the parliamentary candidate for Dover and Deal, recently launched a consultation on the local health service and says the NHS cannot carry on as it is.
England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, made the special measures recommendation following a Care Quality Commission inspection which rated safety and leadership as inadequate.
The report found that a number of clinical services across the trust were poorly led, and there were concerns about staffing levels in a number of areas, especially in A&E, in children’s care, and at night.
On a positive note the report recognised that staff were "caring and responsive to people's needs".
'Hospitals are deteriorating'
Clair Hawkins said: “Our hospitals are under unprecedented pressure and our dedicated nurses and doctors are struggling to do the jobs they are trained for due to unsafe staffing levels on the wards. We have people waiting longer for appointments and we have ambulance patients waiting hours to be admitted for treatment.
“The Government urgently needs a bigger plan to get the trust back on track. Our local services cannot carry on like this, we need an environment where staff and patients have the freedom to speak out about concerns, we also need ministers to intervene now to guarantee safe staffing levels.
“Hospitals are deteriorating following David Cameron’s disastrous reorganisation of the NHS. This Government is sadly making care problems more likely, not less and we need urgent action to right these wrongs.”
The CQC said that overall, inspectors found that there was a worrying disconnect between those running the trust and frontline staff. A recent staff survey had flagged long standing cultural issues, such as bullying and harassment, and a number of staff came forward to raise serious concerns with CQC about the culture of the trust and the care being delivered.
Furthermore the report found that risks to patients were not always identified, and where they were, were not always acted on by the trust. Poorly maintained buildings and equipment were identified in a number of areas.
Clair Hawkins has launched a consultation in the area about the state of the health service and is urging people to share their experiences.