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Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS trust reveals “missing” patient notes

09:00 21 June 2014

Queen's Hospital

Queen's Hospital

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Patient notes have been going “missing” at the troubled Queen’s Hospital – resulting in delays and cancelled appointments.

The Recorder has spoken to a woman patient in her 40s who says her notes have been mislaid twice – once resulting in a three hour delay to chemotherapy treatment.

An improvement plan published by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust revealed that between 15 and 20 per cent of patients’ notes were going missing.

The revelation comes as the trust, which has been placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission, pledged to improve services.

A woman told the Recorder she had twice arrived at the hospital for scheduled appointments to discover her notes had been misplaced.

She expressed concerns that missing notes could delay patients’ diagnosis and treatment but said her experience of the hospital had been generally positive.

Neil Hardy, associate director outpatient and medical secretariat services, said notes were not permanently lost, but in another area of the hospital.

He said: “Every effort is made to insure that the clinician has access to relevant and appropriate information to enable patients to be properly assessed.”

The 44-page improvement plan has identified a variety of issues at Queen’s and King George’s hospitals and outlined the action needed to drive the trust out of special measures.

A bleak picture was painted of outpatient care revealing booking difficulties and cancelled appointments.

Measures to improve the service will include rebuilding customer appointment slots.

The chair of Havering Clinical Commissioning Group, Atul Aggarwal, said: “As a GP, my priority is the safety of my patients. I very much welcome the Trust’s improvement plan and look forward to seeing it now implemented effectively and at pace so patients experience the real improvements to hospital services that we all want for our local population.”

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