‘Clear benefits’ of NHS trust collaboration, though A&E wait times remain high 

Queen's Hospital

Queen's Hospital in Romford - Credit: Ken Mears

The partnership between two east London NHS trusts is starting to display “clear benefits for patients”, a Havering scrutiny committee was told. 

Jacqui Smith, chair of both the Barking, Redbridge and Havering Universities NHS Trust (BHRUT) and Barts Health NHS Trust, told the committee that the collaboration between the two has enabled successes including reduced waiting lists and joint work on respiratory services. 

BHRUT figures show the number of patients waiting for more than a year for treatment decreased from 2,430 to 959 between March and December 2021, with the trust stating its aim is to get close to zero by the summer. 

However, it returned poor results for four-hour A&E waiting time targets, with BHRUT chief executive Matthew Trainer saying the overall site performance is around 65 per cent, compared to a London-wide average of 72pc. 

Ms Smith added plans to improve recruitment and retention of staff and expand the trusts' combined critical care capacity, such as Queen’s Hospital’s new £7.5 million intensive therapy unit, are further proof of the partnership’s “tangible benefits”. 

While acknowledging emergency departments remain inadequate, she said: “I think we’re beginning to see some clear benefits for patients.”