Patients made to wait for an hour or more at Queen’s Hospital Trust

Patients were forced to wait an hour or more in ambulances at Queen’s and King George Hospital 120 times in just one weeK because there was no space to admit them.

The incidents at the Barking Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust, which runs Queen’s Hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford, are known as black breaches and were revealed in an agenda of a meeting held on March 7.

The figures, which were obtained from the Health Service Journal also show that in total there were 186 reported black breaches between the beginning of the year and February 19.

It means that BHR has more black breaches than any other trust in London.

The trust also beats the highest previous total in the city of 87, which was also held at BHR.

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Med Buck, chairman of Havering LiNK, said: “This is a very worrying situation and the trust is putting lives at risk if sick patients are waiting in an ambulance for an hour.

“I am surprised that there have not been any deaths.”

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As part of govermnent plans, the A&E department and maternity unit at King George Hospital, Goodmayes is due to close with services being transferred to Queen’s Hospital.

The plans are currently on hold until services at the hospital are improved because they are being monitored by the Care Quality Commission.

Med said: “These figures show that A&E at Queen’s is not coping and the closures at King George will make it a chaotic situation that is dangerous for the patients.”

In February a letter was sent to all primary care trusts in London by the head of NHS London, Dame Ruth Carnall about the level of A&E performance in the city.

She revealed that at BHR 77.6per cent of patients could expect to wait less than four hours in A&E, against the 95 per cent target in London.

Director of Nursing at BHR Trust, Deborah Wheeler said: “We are working hard to address the number of black breaches and have introduced a range of measures to improve the situation.

“A campaign is underway to encourage people not to come to Accident and Emergency unless they are seriously ill, but to access more appropriate care closer to home.

“We have senior clinicians in A&E assessing patients as they arrive, so that those that need rapid treatment can be seen without delay.

“We are also looking at ways of reconfiguring our bed capacity to create more provision for emergency admissions.”

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