‘We are letting too many patients down’ – Whipps Cross misses A&E targets again

Whipps Cross University Hospital. Picture: Katie Collins/PA

Whipps Cross University Hospital. Picture: Katie Collins/PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The NHS trust which serves Wanstead and Woodford is “letting down too many patients”, according to its chief executive.

Alwen Williams, from Barts Health NHS Trust, made these comments after official figures revealed that Whipps Cross Hospital, in Leytonstone, admitted, treated or discharged 77 per cent of A&E patients within four hours.

This was well short of the national target of 95pc, and the trust gets fined if it misses this.

The hospital, which the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated as “inadequate” last year, showed no change from December despite a small decrease in the number of patients attending A&E.

“We are letting too many patients down, and need to do more to raise our game and ensure the vast majority of people attending our emergency departments are treated promptly within the national standard,” Mrs Williams said in a statement.

“We are seeing record numbers of patients and our staff are pulling out all the stops to keep them safe.”

In a letter to all hospital trusts, NHS England blamed poor performance on rising A&E demand, a lack of adequate alternatives to A&E, and difficulties in discharging patients who require access to social care.

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Wanstead MP John Cryer said: “This has certainly been the worst winter for the NHS in many years and my fear is that there may be more bad news to come.”

“I visited Whipps Cross in January and it is very clear that the staff there are struggling to cope with massive pressures.”

“Many are working inordinately long hours in very difficult conditions,” the Labour MP added.

Barts is currently applying for £520 million of funding, from NHS improvement, to improve the layout of the 100-year-old building and access to the emergency department.

At the moment to transfer someone from A&E to an operating theatre or the critical care ward, the patient has to be taken down the bustling main hospital corridor.

The location of the maternity unit, away from the main building, means pregnant women requiring emergency treatment have to be transported across the site by ambulance.