Queen's Hospital patients were observed waiting almost two days for a bed by inspectors who rated the trust that runs it as 'requires improvement'.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised “significant concerns” about the impact that waiting times are having on the safety and quality of care at Queen's in Romford and King George Hospital, Goodmayes.

The hospitals are run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT).  

READ MORE: What are some of the issues BHRUT is facing this winter?

A report published by CQC on Friday (February 10) based on a visit in November last year, describes “unacceptable” cases of patients waiting on beds in corridors for hours.

The CQC’s deputy director of operations in London, Nicola Wise, said that people receiving care in corridors undermined their “safety and dignity”.

She added: “We also found oversight of people waiting for assessment was not always adequate, meaning people were at risk of harm if their condition deteriorated while they waited. 

“These issues had become established because there was insufficient space in other services where people could be transferred.

“This also meant people remained in urgent and emergency care when it wasn’t the right setting for their needs.”

At Queen’s, staff told inspectors they were frustrated at the “lack of capacity in the local health and social care system”.

By the first night of their visit, inspectors found patients waiting up to 45 hours for a bed, including two patients in their late 70s.

READ MORE: BHRUT spending £16m less on temporary staff, meeting told

They reviewed the case of a 30-year-old patient with abdominal pain and vomiting who waited on a chair overnight suffering “unnecessary pain and discomfort” before she was admitted fifteen hours later.

Overall, inspectors rated the trust as 'requires improvement' in the safe, responsive and well-led categories but rated it 'good' at being effective and caring.

Despite some “gaps” in medical staff, inspectors found there were enough nursing staff and that patients were treated with “compassion and kindness”.

They also praised “visible and approachable” senior leaders who have a “vision” to improve BHRUT’s performance.

BHRUT – which serves about 800,000 people – is run by chief executive Matthew Trainer, who last month apologised for “distressing environments” of overcrowding.

READ MORE: Hospital boss says sorry as trust records worst ambulance delays in London

Mr Trainer has repeatedly raised concerns about the strain put on the trust by shortages in GPs, mental health beds and community beds for elderly people leaving the hospital.

The inspectors also noted “wider challenges” within the health system such as the urgent treatment centre attached to each hospital, run by Partnership of East London Co-operatives, which were both rated 'inadequate' by CQC in reports published last month.

Reacting to the inspection report on BHRUT, Mr Trainer said the findings were “fair” as they recognised the external pressures on his hospitals.

Romford Recorder: BHRUT chief executive Matthew TrainerBHRUT chief executive Matthew Trainer (Image: BHRUT)

He added: “I’m grateful to the Care Quality Commission for recognising the commitment of our staff who are delivering compassionate care despite being under tremendous pressure.

“I’m also glad the CQC has acknowledged that the challenges we face are complicated by wider problems within the health and social care system in north-east London.

“Corridor care is inadequate care, and the pressures of this winter have led to too many people being cared for in this way.

“It is wrong for patients and their families, and it’s exhausting and demoralising for our staff.

“We know it’s not good enough and we will work hard with our local partners to try to avoid another winter like this.”

When contacted for comment about issues in the wider healthcare system, chief executive of NHS North East London, Zina Etheridge, said her organisation took “immediate action”.

She added: “In early December we convened a quality summit with BHRUT, healthcare providers and local authorities, along with NHS England and the CQC, to develop an extensive plan of action by all partners within the health and social care system to address these pressing concerns.

“A number of measures have already been put in place and are having an impact.

“By working together with our partners, we will tackle the long waits and ensure we provide better, safer care for patients.”