Chris White, Liberal Democrat county group spokesperson on Health, said in reaction to today's Care Quality Commission inspection report into the West Herts Hospitals Trust (dealing with the Watford, St Albans and Hemel hospitals): 'We had suspected for a while that the report would be bad but this is even worse than was feared - one of the worst ever issued.
'It is important to put into action a plan for improving the services at the three hospitals and for the public to gain reassurance that the services are on an upwards and not a downwards trajectory. CQC insisting, however, that notices are put up on all sites saying the hospital is in special measures is hardly likely to help public confidence.
Chris continued: 'The county council has the role of scrutinising the NHS in Hertfordshire and we will be having a meeting with the inspectors next week where we hope to hear more about how quickly the many failings can be addressed.'
He added: 'There has been a long history of management instability at the trust. The most recent full-time chief executive, for instance, stayed only a short while before - believe it or not - being promoted to a different role elsewhere in the NHS. It is time the government made sure that all senior managers were of the best quality and were encouraged to stay and sort out the problem rather than leave and find jobs to do elsewhere.'