Queen’s and King George hospital chief: ‘We’re starting to see improvements’

07:00 21 July 2014

Hospital trust boss Matthew Hopkins

Hospital trust boss Matthew Hopkins


The boss of the embattled trust that runs Queen’s and King George hospitals has said it is starting to see improvements in key areas such as A&E waiting times and staffing levels.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) was last year placed in special measures after being told it was “failing local people”.

Staffing levels and waiting times were among failings pointed out by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following inspections at Queen’s in Romford and King George in Goodmayes.

Chief executive Matthew Hopkins, a former cancer nurse, was drafted in earlier this year to turn around the struggling trust.

He says it is seeing improvements after figures revealed in May showed that the trust was treating 85 per cent of A&E patients within four hours – 10pc below the government’s target.

“We’ve started to see some improvements in waiting times, we have started to recruit some more staff,” he said. “We’ve taken on medical professionals – senior doctors, consultants and senior registrars.

“The focus is on senior doctors at the moment because our recruitment of nurses has gone well.

“One of the central strands of the improvement plan is making sure we can keep staff – we need really good staff to provide really good care.”

In the wake of its damning CQC inspection, BHRUT was ordered to draw up an “improvement plan” to tackle its shortcomings, including an over-reliance on temporary staff.

The trust has recently sought to combat the problem by flying senior nurses to Portugal on a recruitment drive.

Mr Hopkins said 33 “highly skilled and committed” nurses would be joining BHRUT following the trip.

However, he questioned new national guidelines issued this week on safe staffing levels for nurses.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence said that when each registered nurse is caring for more than eight patients there should be cause for checking they are not at risk of harm.

BHRUT recently upped its ratio of nurses to patients at night from one for every 15 to one for every 10.

Mr Hopkins said: “We cannot have a blanket need level because nurses need to make professional judgements over how unwell patients are. We take a view three times a day on the number nurses needed on wards. We make sure our levels are optimal.”

Read more:

Dementia services to be brought under one roof at Goodmayes Hospital
Nurses to fly to Portugal for BHRUT recruitment drive
Two women turned away from Queen’s Hospital maternity department after it closes for four hours


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

The Recorder, October 7 1955

This week in history – 60, 40 and 20 years ago.

Harrow Lodge Park Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

A proposal to introduce parking charges to 19 of the borough’s parks has prompted a mixed reaction from residents and sports clubs.

Yesterday, 17:26
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan addresses the Conservative Party conference at Manchester Central. Picture Stefan Rousseau/PA Images

Parent power could see schools providing childcare for the whole working day and holidays if enough families request it.

Yesterday, 16:15
Rob Bull, pilot killed in the Chigwell air crash

The operators of a plane which crashed in Chigwell killing the two pilots on board have paid tribute to the pair in a heartfelt statement.

Yesterday, 12:21
Adesina was stabbed in Padbury Court, Bethnal Green

Stabbed teenager Joel Adesina spent his final hours in a weaponised gang wearing face coverings and fleeing at least one man with a knife, the Old Bailey heard.

Yesterday, 10:32
Straight Road, Romford

A man in his 40s was stabbed in Straight Road, Romford, last night.

Yesterday, 10:00
Cllr Ross Hatfull says Redbridge Council will ask people to move out of the borough so they do not become homeless, such is the extent of the housing crisis. Photo: Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images

Havering Council has the lowest acceptance rate of homelessness of any London borough.

Yesterday, 07:15
Train passing level crossing

A victim of sexual assault who was “shaken” by an incident on a train is calling for more action in deterring sexual offences on public transport following TfL’s announcement of a 32per cent increase in London.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder