In a joint statement, the MPs said: “It is with great disappointment that we learn that the NHS Trust Development Agency (TDA) have placed East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust into the category of “special measures” following a recommendation from the Care Quality Commission”.
NHS trusts and foundation trusts are put into special measures when there are “serious failures in care quality and where there are concerns that existing management can not make the necessary improvements without support”, according to Monitor, the health services regulator.
CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said patients had been “placed at risk” because some were looked after by staff who were not properly trained.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) noted that while workers were very dedicated to their patients, they had concerns over staffing levels, delays in outpatient treatment and governance failings.
Frequently used as a form of pain relief during childbirth, high levels have been linked to unconsciousness or death if there is a lack of oxygen.
In several cases, inspectors reported that staffing levels put patient safety at risk.
Midwives had known for two years that there was an issue with poor ventilation but did nothing more than open extra windows.
Inspectors found that some patients waited too long to be assessed by a registered nurse on arrival at minor injuries and illness units and that unregistered practitioners were undertaking this task without adequate training or supervision.
Both MPs said they will be visiting the hospitals over the next few weeks to discuss the next stages with staff and patients.
He added: “Patients are the only reason we are here, but working within the most challenged health economy in the country makes our job more hard “.
There was also a backlog of patients waiting for follow-up appointments, the inspectors found.
East Sussex Healthcare NHS trust is also to go into special measures after the CQC uncovered problems there.
The trust said it had taken on board the CQC’s findings.
Monitor’s investigation concluded “that the trust lacks the adequate financial control it requires”.
The trust is reported to be running a deficit of £1.2 million per week.
Former chief executive Keith McNeil, who resigned last week, has defended Addenbrooke’s as “phenomenal”. We were not assured that people were adequately protected from the risk of harm, and we were not convinced that this had been addressed adequately yet by the trust board.
He said the deal could see specialist care being delivered to Bedford people on their doorstep at the local hospital, similar to how Moorfields Eye Centre is run at Bedford Hospital.
Asked before the report was published whether the assessment by the CQC was wrong, he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: “I believe so”.
He added that there was not “any sane or rational interpretation of the word “inadequate” that would describe any aspect of the operations at Addenbrooke’s”.
The hospital’s chief finance officer, Paul James, also quit ahead of the CQC report. We will take rapid action to address these concerns and maintain our record of safety and high-quality care.
Monitor also imposed a new condition on the trust’s licence, opening the channel for further regulatory action, such as replacing members of the trust’s leadership team, if the required improvements are not made quickly enough for patients.
That decision was later suspended while a review is undertaken into the issue.
The trust is one of the largest in the United Kingdom , with around 1,100 beds.