Maternity services improved but A&E still not good enough at Queen’s Hospital, Romford

Maternity services have improved but accident and emergency (A&E) is still not up to standard at Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been investigating the level of care given at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT), and published the latest in its set of reports on Wednesday (today).

The latest report has found that, out of 81 recommendations set in October, the trust has met 27 completely and partly met 48 others.

The CQC praised the trust for improvements made in maternity and radiology services, but said emergency care is a concern – especially at Queen’s in Rom Valley Way.

Matthew Trainer, deputy director of the CQC in London, said: “The direction of travel at the trust is encouraging but – as they acknowledge – they still have some way to go before they are consistently delivering the quality of care that local people are entitled to expect.”

He added: “This report marks the end of the CQC’s investigation into the trust.

“Our role is to make sure essential standards of care are met and we will continue to carry out unannounced inspections to check this when we consider it necessary.”

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BHRUT chief executive, Averil Dongworth, said: “We have invested a huge amount of work with our partners to improve patient care since the CQC’s recommendations were issued last year.

“I am pleased that the Care Quality Commission has recognised our commitment and the progress we have made at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.”

She added: “We’ve made good progress, but I agree with the CQC that we still have some way to go in making improvements that can be sustained for the future.

“A huge piece of work is underway to address issues in our Emergency Department at Queen’s Hospital, and the early signs around this are encouraging.”

The trust has 14 days to outline how to the CQC how it will meet the latest targets.

Sarah Harman, a solicitor who has pursued claims on behalf of more than 30 women and their families, over allegations of poor care in the maternity unit at Queens from 2009 to date, said: “I am concerned that more than a year after the sad deaths of Sareena Ali and Violet Stephens at the hospital [who died during childbirth], the CQC has identified that Queen’s is still not meeting essential standards in care, staffing, equipment provision or complaints handling.

“This means that mothers are still at risk and this is not acceptable.”

For more on the story see Friday’s Recorder.