Queen’s Hospital A&E ‘weaker’ than condemned King George department - trust boss

Queen's Hospital, Romford

Queen's Hospital, Romford - Credit: Archant

Havering’s hospital trust has admitted that performance at Queen’s Hospital A&E is “weaker” than at the condemned King George emergency department, as new figures rank the units the slowest in London.

During the week ending June 16, only 86 per cent of patients admitted to A&E at the two hospitals were seen within the government-set four-hour window.

That figure is far below the 95 per cent Department of Health target and made the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) the worst in London for the week.

In total, 4,865 people attended A&E at Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, and King George Hospital, in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, during the week.

Trust chief exec Averil Dongworth said demand had risen faster at the hospitals than elsewhere in London.

The London Ambulance Service brought nearly nine per cent more patients to Queen’s A&E in 2012/13 compared with the previous year, while the average rise across London was just one per cent.

The increase at King George Hospital was four per cent.

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King George A&E is earmarked for closure as soon as Queen’s is equipped to take the extra numbers – even though the hospital continually outperforms its Romford counterpart, which has been repeatedly criticised by the Care Quality Commission.

Ms Dongworth said: “Performance is weaker at Queen’s Hospital than King George Hospital.

“As a trauma centre it deals with more seriously ill patients and receives far more blue light ambulances.”

She added the trust was working to recruit more staff to A&E departments.

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said: “I know only too well much still needs to improve in terms of Queen’s Hospital’s performance - particularly in A&E as these figures show.

“I have confidence Mrs Dongworth and her team will work to ensure the service to local people improves to match up to the standards my constituents deserve, but I am always ready to take issues to the health secretary if that’s what it takes.

“Romford people deserve the best health care and I will work with the trust and the government to ensure they get it.”

Med Buck, who chaired health watchdog Havering LINk, said: “I am very worried that the situation at Queen’s A&E is going from bad to worse.

“It is clear that the provision of emergency care is in crisis and staff can barely cope with the increase in demand.

“Patients are waiting far more than four hours to be seen by a doctor and I am very concerned that patients’ lives are being put at risk.

“I urge Jeremy Hunt and the NHS bosses to review their plan to close King George.”