The A&E unit in Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham is unable to cope with the number of patients it is receiving during busy periods, resulting in patients being put at risk, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The hospital, which was placed under special measures in July 2013 after the Keogh review into death rates, was subject to a follow-up CQC inspection in July 2014. The latest inspection in August this year formed part of a comprehensive inspection schedule put in place to follow up on concerns identified in July 2014.

In August, inspectors found that patients were kept waiting for too long to see a doctor during busy times or were left unattended while they waited and, as a result of a lack of clinical leadership in the A&E department, patient safety was compromised.

A Medway NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman said that the Hospital is aware of the CQC’s findings and is working to address the issues.

Corrina Mottram, a clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons said: “The CQC’s findings are clearly deeply concerning for patients and, while Medway NHS Foundation Trust has pledged its commitment to improving standards, it is clear that sufficient progress is not being made.

“Even with the best will in the world, it is extremely challenging for NHS trusts to turn services around if they are not being given the appropriate funding to tackle resourcing issues. This comes against a backdrop of unprecedented demand for NHS services and, as a consequence, both the NHS and its staff are close to breaking point. The government must acknowledge these problems and invest in staff and services. If this does not happen, patient safety and staff wellbeing will continue to suffer.”