Queen’s hospital waiting times still far from target

Queen's A&E patients are waiting an average of five-and-a-half hours to be seen

Queen's A&E patients are waiting an average of five-and-a-half hours to be seen - Credit: Archant

Queen’s Hospital is still facing long patient delays despite an action plan to address a poor inspection last year.

The average time spent in A&E was more than 5.5 hours at the end of March – far from the four-hour target.

Waiting times was one of the major issues raised by the Care Quality Commission in late 2012 which found the emergency care department was failing on key national standards.

In response to this, the Barking, Havering and Redbridge Universities NHS Trust (BHRUT) introduced an ‘Emergency Care Improvement Plan’ that involves 10 ‘workstreams’ and is monitored by various meetings.

Progress on the plan was presented to the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board earlier this month, who said it was difficult to draw out elements that directly respond to the CQC’s concerns.

Meanwhile the chair of the Barking and Dagenham Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Waseem Mohi, questioned whether operational changes were making an impact on quality of care.

BHRUT has been given certain targets to achieve by August this year that include treating 95 per cent of patients within four hours – it stands currently at 88.5 per cent.

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The chief executive of BHRUT, Averil Dongworth, said they accepted that not enough progress had been made on patient waiting times.

She said: “Reducing waits for our patients in the emergency department is a high priority for us as an organisation.

“Over the last six months we have been working with the CQC and our partners to develop an integrated improvement plan.

“With regards to our emergency access target performance, we recognise the need to make further improvements and keep performance on an upwards trajectory.”

An unannounced inspection to the hospital was made by the CQC recently which will be publishing a report on its findings.