Margaret Hodge MP: Placing Barking NHS Trust into special measures “not good enough”

Queen's Hospital

Queen's Hospital - Credit: Archant

Margaret Hodge MP wants a “more radical solution” for Barking’s NHS trust after it was placed into special measures this afternoon, following a damning report.

Margaret Hodge MP

Margaret Hodge MP - Credit: Archant

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has exposed unsafe A&Es, understaffing, long waiting times and poor planning within Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT).

Ambulance queues at Queen's Hospital

Ambulance queues at Queen's Hospital - Credit: Archant

In their report, the care watchdog demands the organisation to act on a set of “urgent” instructions after finding recent improvements were not doing enough.

MP for Barking and chair of the public accounts committee Mrs Hodge said: “I do not think that putting the Trust into special measures is good enough.

“We need a more radical solution that deals with the entrenched, underlying problems that have plagued Queen’s and King George’s for so long.”

The report states “an “improvement director” must be appointed to oversee a plan to bring services up to standard.

There will also be a review of senior leadership to see if further action needs to be taken.

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Mrs Hodge also blasted the lack of progress within the trust.

She added: “Officials in the NHS have consistently failed to come up with an answer that will bring about the sustained improvements that we so desperately need at the Hospital Trust.”

A&E departments at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, and King George Hospital, Goodmayes were found to be unsafe, mainly because of a chronic shortage of senior consultants.

Barking and Dagenham cabinet member for health, Cllr Maureen Worby, was unimpressed by the lack of progress in certain areas.

“Of immediate concern is the fact that issues we raised four years ago have still not been tackled,” he said

“This is further confirmation of the problems our residents already know about if they’ve used A&E services in particular.”

Although good practice was found on many wards, with improvements in maternity, excellent stroke care and kind and considerate staff,

But the improvements are not enough to tackle the huge scale of problems the hospitals are facing, according to the CQC.

Inspectors wrote: “Many initiatives to improve quality and safety have only started very recently and it is too early to tell if they will deliver the required improvements quickly.”