BHRUT settles 16 lawsuits by patients alleging poor care

Queen's Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford

Queen's Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford - Credit: Archant

Multiple legal proceedings against the trust which runs King George and Queen’s hospitals, alleging poor care, have been settled out of court, it has been announced.

The claimants included the Labour MP Dawn Butler’s father, who claimed he was placed in a room which smelled of urine and had blood stained plasters on the floor.

Of the 17 cases that were being pursued against Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) by law firm Leigh Day, 16 were settled at a round table meeting on July 17. The final case is ongoing.

Following the decision, which was announced today, BHRUT’s medical director Nadeem Moghal said: “Changes have been made and new ways of working introduced.”

The allegations date back to between 2007 and 2013 and included poor provision of nutrition and fluid, patient falls and problems with pain relief.

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Milo Butler, the Brent Central MP’s father, was admitted to Queen’s Hospital, Romford, in November 2010 with slurred speech and a facial drop.

The 73-year-old contracted an eye infection while at the hospital.

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Ms Butler said: “As a family, we were forced to take this legal action. It was the only way to get answers from the hospital. We found the complaints system at the trust completely inadequate.”

Emma Jones, the lawyer who represented the claimants, said: “These claims were based on fundamental issues relating to the care of patients.

“These include making sure there are enough competent staff to care for patients and that the trusts have systems in place to make sure people are given enough to eat and drink.”

Dr Moghal said: “It is absolutely unacceptable that any patients should suffer harm or poor treatment while they are in our care.

“We have been working hard to deal with these outstanding cases – dating back to 2007 - so that the patients and families involved can move on.”

The medical director said the trust had also “personally apologised for any poor care”.

He added: “I hope that the families involved will be reassured that we have learned from these incidents.

“We have made huge strides in improving care and performance over the past 18 months - as recognised by the Care Quality Commission – but we know we still have a long way to go.”

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