'Significant increase’ in clinical care incidents reported by BHRUT, says new report 

King George and Queen's Hospitals are recruiting end of life support volunteers.

BHRUT, which manages the King George Hospital (top) and Queen's Hospital (bottom), said that despite the rise in incidents, it always ensures it keeps patients safe - Credit: Ken Mears

The number of clinical care incidents at east London hospitals rose by more than 50 per cent last month.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs Queen’s Hospital in Romford and the King George Hospital in Ilford, published the information in a report ahead of its most recent board meeting on May 10. 

Chief nurse Kathryn Halford said BHRUT is "continuing to work hard to reduce the number of delays and to find innovative ways to improve".

In a section detailing its most up-to-date quality and safety data, the report noted the trust continues to report a high number of incidents. 

This included a rise across various measurables when comparing February to March. One of these was a "significant increase” of clinical care incidents, which rose from 973 in February to 1,497 the following month. 

Other areas where a jump was registered included the number of 60-minute ambulance offload delays (316 up to 464), 180-minute offload delays (six up to 76), and 12-hour trolley breaches (293 up to 517). 

The number of open incidents, those awaiting the result of an investigation, also increased from 2,984 in February to 3,274 in March. Both of these are above BHRUT’s target of 2,000. 

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The trust is also struggling to hit its targets regarding serious incident investigations. 

The report states 77 investigations are currently in progress, 49 of which have breached the 60-working-day target completion rates. 

Not all measurables rose. For example, the six serious incidents reported in March was the same as the month before. 

As well as safety, the report looked at other indicative areas such as caring, effectiveness and responsiveness. 

While it recorded headway in some areas, such as improving its communication calls and meeting training compliance rates, its response rates were logged at 84.04pc, below the target of 90pc. 

Ms Halford said: “We always ensure we keep our patients safe, even when there are delays in ambulance offloads.  

“Assessments and regular observations are carried out, and we offer patients pain relief and refreshments to help them feel comfortable. Ambulance crews remain with them. 

“We are continuing to work hard to reduce the number of delays and to find innovative ways to improve, such as our ambulance receiving centre." 

In the same set of documents, the trust's chief executive Matthew Trainer apologised after revealing 1,800 patients had been wiped from a waiting list without being seen.