‘Serious failings’ in care at King George and Queen’s hospitals

A damning report into the care provided by the borough’s closest hospitals has found “serious failings”, with 73 separate recommendations being made.

The probe into the services provided by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust was launched at the end of June.

It has found patients “remain at risk of poor care”.

The trust runs both King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

Cynthia Bower, chief executive of the CQC, said: “We have been forcing the trust to address issues on a short term basis – but we have real concerns about safety in the mid-to longer term.

“This organisation needs to stop relying on others to tell it what’s wrong and put in place the systems and processes that will ensure care is safe – so that no one else is failed or harmed by poor care.”

Some of the key findings of the report, released just minutes ago, include:

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• Problems identified in maternity services included poor clinical care, a service operating in isolation, verbally abusive and unprofessional behaviour by some staff to patients and to their colleagues and a lack of learning from maternal deaths and incidents.

• Staff vacancies have been filled by agency, locum or bank staff with an impact on the quality of care.

• Trust governance systems and corporate governance are “weak”. Governance systems have recently changed, but lines of communication in the new structure are unclear and there is a risk of issues being missed.

•The trust’s response to complaints is “poor”, with a high number received each year and frequent issues with timing and quality of response.

Sixteen of the recommendations from the CQC are described as “key” – with the greatest impact on patient care – which the CQC will monitor through unannounced inspections.

More to follow.