‘Damning’ verdict on Redbridge health trust as full investigation launched

A “damning” verdict has been handed to the health trust which runs King George Hospital, as it becomes only the second in the country to be threatened with possible prosecution for continued failings.

A newly launched full investigation will examine whether the trust is protecting patients form “unsafe care”, with the qualification of staff and its risk management systems being probed.

Colin Hough, the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) regional director for London, said a string of unannounced visits had been made, but added: “We keep finding problems.”

The investigation will involve speaking to patients, relatives and frontline staff at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT).

The CQC, an independent regulator of care provided by the NHS, put seven conditions on BHRUT in April 2010, seven of which have now been met.

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But since then, “urgent demands for improvement” have been made following a string of unannounced visits to both King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

Ilford North MP Lee Scott said: “It does seem pretty damning.

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“As distressing as it is, the full review is vitally important.

“There are management structures which have been in place for quite some time which need to be looked at.

“In the past it [the trust] has not been fit for purpose but I’ve been impressed by the new chief executive’s [Averil Dongworth’s] dedication.”

He added doctors and nurses were doing a “brilliant job”.

The CQC’s findings into both King George and Queen’s Hospital is due in the Autumn.

Mrs Dongworth said: “The CQC recognises that some improvements have already been made, although we need to go further and sustain this.

“We welcome the CQC’s investigation and will be working closely with them.

“The findings of the investigation will be extremely helpful, highlighting any areas which they, our patients or staff feel needs further attention.”

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