Barking and Dagenham health trust meets conditions to improve hospital services

Health bosses breathed a sigh of relief this week after meeting the last of a series of conditions to improve services at its hospitals.

The Care Quality Commission watchdog said there was now enough trained staff at Queen’s Hospital maternity unit in Romford, which came under scrutiny following maternal deaths last year.

Hospital chief executive Averil Dongworth said: “I am delighted that the Care Quality Commission is lifting the final condition on our registration.

“An enormous amount of work has gone into meeting all of these conditions, from overhauling our training systems to recruiting extra high-calibre frontline staff to ensure that our patients receive top quality care.

“We will keep up our improvement programme to make sure improvements are sustained.”

A CQC progress report into Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust last week showed improvements had been made since an investigation last year, particularly in maternity and radiology services.

But the health watchdog said the trust, which caters for Barking and Dagenham patients, still needed to make improvements.

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A CQC spokesman said today: “Challenges in their maternity services have changed. We still have concerns about the level of services.”

A new maternity unit will start welcoming mothers-to-be at Barking Hospital in Upney Lane this autumn.