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Last Updated: Monday, 15 October 2007, 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK
C.difficile bosses 'should quit'
Unwashed cups in hospital ward utility room
Ninety deaths were put down to poor handling of clostridium difficile
A call has been made for the resignation of the chair and entire board of the crisis-ridden Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

Kent County Council's (KCC) Paul Carter made the comment ahead of a meeting with health trust officials to discuss the clostridium difficile outbreak.

But Kent Air Ambulance said it had now resumed flights to Maidstone Hospital four days after they were suspended.

A Healthcare Commission report said 90 people died due to infection outbreaks.

The health trust - which runs Maidstone Hospital, the Kent and Sussex Hospital and Pembury Hospital - came under fire on Thursday when a "litany" of errors was cited in its handling of C.difficile between 2004 and 2006.

Crisis 'support'

A public meeting of KCC's cabinet on Monday morning was due to be attended by Glenn Douglas, the interim trust chief executive, and Steve Phoenix, chief executive of the West Kent Primary Care Trust.

Mr Carter said the report into the C.difficile deaths made "appalling reading".

And he said he felt the scandal would make recruiting nurses more difficult.

"I think it's now a case of everybody delivering public services pulling together to help and support when a crisis occurs."

He said he wanted to see the health trust chair and board quitting, "an injection of additional public money" from Health Secretary Alan Johnson, and monthly inspection visits "to make sure the right disciplines and regimes are instilled very quickly".

"I personally believe the existing board and chairman should resign," he said.

Mr Carter has also made an offer of "significant management experience" from the county council to support the recovery of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

Kent Air Ambulance Trust boycotted Maidstone Hospital on the day of the report, saying it was "deeply concerned".

It said on Monday it had now received a personal assurance from Candy Morris, chief executive of South East Coast Strategic Health Authority, that it was safe to take patients to Maidstone.

The Kent and Sussex and Pembury hospitals do not have helipads.

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