ED nurse leads huge improvement at Kent trust

Man on a mission Cliff Evans was sent on a secondment to work at Medway Maritime hospital in Kent in a bid to tackle high mortality rates and low staff morale. 

‘I have never worked anywhere that was so unsafe for patients,’ says emergency department (ED) nurse consultant Cliff Evans of Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent. He was seconded there in 2015 by NHS England to address its high mortality rates.

‘There were three to five incidents a week. People were dying.’

The nurse vacancy rate was 65%. ‘You can’t run a service on those levels. Staff were working in horrible circumstances having been in special measures for three years,’ Mr Evans says.

The staff who were able to had left, and those who remained or who were new were ‘all hands on deck’, leaving no time for mandatory training or appraisals. Only four nurses had emergency care qualifications that were relevant to their posts.

Three years on, Medway NHS Foundation Trust has been lifted out of


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