Havering hospital Trust failed to meet government A&E targets every week for a year

Havering’s hospital trust missed its government-set target for A&E waiting times every week between November 2012 and November 2013 – a badge of shame it shares with no other London trust.

The government expects 95 per cent of patients in emergency units to be seen within four hours in any given week. In the 12 months to November 3, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHR) failed to achieve this once.

But opening extra beds, coupled with the fact some Havering GPs now work at weekends, saw the trust hit 95.7pc in the week ending November 10, according to a trust spokesman.

Just under 85 per cent of BHR’s A&E patients were seen within four hours during the year to November 3. And with one of BHR’s two A&E centres set to close in 2015 – King George in Goodmayes – health campaigners are concerned the figures will get worse as Queen’s Hospital in Romford, struggles to cope.

The figures have come to light in a London Assembly report that warns the capital’s health care system is “under stress” and urges NHS England to publish “recovery and improvement” plans for failing A&E departments.

In September it was revealed that the trust will receive £7m from the government to bolster A&E services against winter pressures over the next two years.

Averil Dongworth, chief executive of the Trust, said: “We have been very open about the challenges we face to meet the A&E target.

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“We have recently been praised for the care we provide to patients while they are in our A&E departments, but some people are still facing unacceptably long waits.

“We are working closely with our health and social care partners to bring about improvements.”