Queen’s and King George hospitals trust, in special measures, releases ‘improvement update’

The two hospitals run by the trust: King George in Goodmayes (top) and Queen's in Romford (bottom)

The two hospitals run by the trust: King George in Goodmayes (top) and Queen's in Romford (bottom) - Credit: Archant

A drop in the reliance on expensive temporary staff, new round-the-clock opening hours for an assessment unit and special infection training for more than 3,000 staff are counted among achievements in a progress report by bosses at King George and Queen’s hospitals.

In 2013 inspectors found a series of failures at the hospitals in Goodmayes and Romford, and placed Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) in special measures.

Following the damning Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, trust bosses were instructed to draw up an “improvement plan” highlighting measures to better services.

This week, BHRUT published its latest update on progress in August.

Temporary staff in emergency departments were cut from 50 in August 2013 to 32 in August 2014, meaning a reduction in spending of nearly £200,000 (or 32 per cent year on year).

Over-reliance on such staff, who are often more expensive than permanent employees, was a major criticism of the CQC in its December 2013 report.

Extended opening hours for the medical receiving unit (MRU) are also cited by in the trust’s progress report.

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The unit is for patients whose conditions are not immediately life-threatening but need further assessment before being admitted or discharged.

Bosses say new 24/7 operation will improve the quality of care and free up emergency department clinicians.

As part of a BHRUT campaign, around 3,000 staff have also been trained to recognise and manage sepsis, a serious and sometimes fatal infection killing thousands yearly.

Trust chief executive Matthew Hopkins said: “This is a very exciting time for the organisation.

“I know that we are putting in place a team that can lead the trust through our improvement plan and out of special measures to become local hospitals that people will be proud of.”

• BHRUT holds its monthly board meeting today in the Queen’s Hospital board room. It’s open to the public and begins at 1pm. Click here to view the agenda.

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