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Former Macmillan nurse to take reins of troubled Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals Trust

PUBLISHED: 14:08 18 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:37 18 March 2014

Matthew Hopkins will take charge in April. Picture: BHRUT

Matthew Hopkins will take charge in April. Picture: BHRUT

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A former Macmillan nurse who has a track record in improving A&E performance will lead the troubled trust responsible for Queen’s and King George hospitals.

Matthew Hopkins will take the reins of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust’s (BHRUT), currently under special measures and around £150m in debt, on April 1 from retiring chief executive Averil Dongworth.

BHRUT, which runs Queen’s in Rom Valley Way, Romford, and King George Hospital, in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, was put in special measures in December after inspectors from health watchdog Care Quality Commssion (CQC) exposed risks to patients, including unsafe A&E practices, understaffing, long waiting times and poor planning.

However, at around the same time, the trust did win an award for its training of staff in dementia care.

Matthew, currently head of the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, in Surrey, said: “I am looking forward to playing a part in further improving the care the trust is providing. I am passionate about high-quality, compassionate care and staff engagement and I look forward to working with the team at Barking, Havering and Redbridge, to ensure that every patient receives great care, every day.”

Matthew, who spent five years as a Macmillan nurse, has led Epsom and St Helier for three years and has also worked at a number of other London teaching hospitals.

Under his leadership, the performance of Epsom and St Helier has improved significantly, a press statement from BHRUT said.

The hospitals have performed “consistently well” in routine inspections from CQC, and last year and were given the best possible rating in an initiative that measures risk within hospitals

The hospitals perform strongly against the emergency access target where 95 per cent of all patients who attend A&E need to be seen, treated or discharged within a maximum of four hours, the release added.

Matthew has also been successful in reducing that trust’s significant financial deficit to a planned break-even in the next financial year.

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