Search

Long read: The state of north east London’s NHS trusts

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:52 19 September 2017

Royal London Hospital

Royal London Hospital

Archant

In the first in a series of monthly health specials, we look at north east London’s healthcare and discuss with local experts the biggest challenges it faces.

Across the area, medical services are facing many of the same problems – a rapidly increasing population, growing demand for services and shrinking budgets.

As a result of these issues, both of east London’s largest trusts, Barts Health and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), have faced difficulties in recent years.

Each trust was placed into special measures earlier this decade.

While BHRUT was taken out of special measures in March after three years as a result of what the Care Quality Commission (CQC) deemed “transformational improvements”, financial difficulties at Barts means it remains under close watch by the NHS’ Trust Development Authority.

Romford Town centre gv's. Queen's HospitalRomford Town centre gv's. Queen's Hospital

BHRUT runs both Queen’s Hospital in Romford and King George Hospital in Goodmayes and provides medical services for both those boroughs as well as Barking and Dagenham.

The trust has been celebrating recently after meeting governmental referral to treatment (RTT) targets for the first time in three years.

Nationwide, the NHS aims to see any patients referred to hospital by GPs within 18 weeks, but in December 2013 a database update revealed more than 1,000 BHRUT patients had been waiting for more than a year.

In June, the trust was thrilled to announce it had seen 92.18pc of referrals in that time, above the national standard of 92pc.

Goodmayes scenes for wrap. King George HospitalGoodmayes scenes for wrap. King George Hospital

One of the longest running health issues in east London has been proposals to downgrade King George’s A&E to an urgent care centre.

The controversial North East London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) was signed off by the government in 2011.

In July, the government released a new wave of STP funding, which would entitle BHRUT to up to £5million of capital funding to redesign the urgent care centre.

But campaigners continue to insist the move is not viable, and last month Havering Council joined Redbridge in calling for an urgent review of the plan.

Newham University HospitalNewham University Hospital

The trust’s chief executive Matthew Hopkins said he was looking forward to improving both hospitals’ emergency departments.

He said: “At Queen’s particularly we will be improving our emergency department reception, urgent care centre and treatment areas for patients, having successfully bid for money from the Department of Health as well as using our own money.”

He added: “We also have some exciting developments in our cancer therapy department in the pipeline. We have some new cutting edge scanning technology coming to our trust to help our cancer patients, which we look forward to unveiling shortly.”

Residents of Newham and Tower Hamlets will more often than not be cared for at hospitals run by Barts Health.

Whipps Cross Hospital. Photo: PA.Whipps Cross Hospital. Photo: PA.

The largest hospital trust in the UK, it operates Whitechapel’s Royal London Hospital, Newham University Hospital, Whipps Cross in Leytonstone and Mile End and St Bartholomew’s hospitals.

Recently, Barts Health has focused on ensuring patients do not stay in hospital longer than necessary, with dedicated teams across all of its hospitals now working with senior doctors to review all inpatients daily.

This move has already seen the average length of patient stays at The Royal London fall by an average of nine days.

A Barts Health spokeswoman said: “More than a thousand patients a day are successfully seen and treated within four hours in our three emergency departments at The Royal London, Whipps Cross and Newham hospitals.

Matthew Hopkins, who oversees Queen's Hospital in Romford, has been listed one of the top 1,000 influencial Londoners.Matthew Hopkins, who oversees Queen's Hospital in Romford, has been listed one of the top 1,000 influencial Londoners.

“However, with winter coming we know there is more we can do to prepare for what is the busiest time of year, which is why we are delighted to have been awarded over £1.7million to ease these pressures.

“There is also much that local people can do to support us.

“Know which services can help provide you with care such as pharmacies, GPs and 111, and stay well by ensuring you have your flu jab if you are over 65, have a long-term condition (including diabetes and kidney disease) or if you are pregnant.”

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

Yesterday, 22:04

Dagenham & Redbridge slipped to a second straight defeat in the Vanarama National League with a 2-0 loss away to Solihull Moors.

Yesterday, 19:28

Centuries from Simon Harmer and Tom Westley put Essex in complete command against Surrey at the Kia Oval, where the champions ended day two facing their first defeat of a triumphant season.

Yesterday, 22:48

Firefighters are battling a blaze at a home in Chadwell Heath.

Yesterday, 16:00

Peter Taylor has urged his Dagenham & Redbridge midfielders to start finding more space for themselves on the pitch ahead of visiting Solihull Moors in the Vanarama National League on Tuesday.

Hammers’ Lukasz Fabianski is imporoving with every game

Yesterday, 17:39

A 21-year-old security guard killed in a crash while behind the wheel in Barking was above the speeding and drug driving limit, an inquest has heard.

Yesterday, 16:18

Robert Clack School of Science in Dagenham has opened 12 classrooms as part of a £43.75 million investment programme.

Yesterday, 13:00

Barking manager Justin Gardner wants his side to implement a game plan when they face Tilbury this evening.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Barking and Dagenham is home to Better Extreme, London’s largest indoor skatepark. Whatever your discipline, be it skateboarding, inline, BMX or scootering, there’s a challenge waiting for you.

Barking Sporthouse has a wide range of fun things to do with your children this summer

The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now