Waiting times improving at Queens

Romford no longer has England’s worst waiting times in its A&E departments – but it’s still far below the national target.

NHS England statistics for July show that 51% of the most seriously ill A&E patients attending Queen’s Hospital in Romford and King George Hospital in Goodmayes were dealt with in less than four hours.

This is a significant increase from February this year, when only 32% of A&E patients were seen, treated and either admitted or discharged within four hours – the lowest score in England.

The national standard is that 95 per cent of patients should be seen, treated and either admitted or discharged within four hours.

A statement by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) – which runs both hospitals – said it now scores above 19 other English trusts and is no longer “at the bottom” of London’s A&E waiting time performance.

Chief executive Matthew Trainer said: “We know we still have a long way to go and that too many patients are still facing long waits.

“However, we absolutely should recognise this achievement and the hard work our teams have put in to get us here.”

Mr Trainer has credited the opening of same day emergency care departments at both hospitals with helping to cut waiting times.

However, four-hour waiting time performance for patients with less serious conditions at BHRUT hospitals remains the worst in the country.

In July, 70% of patients with less serious health needs attending the hospitals’ urgent treatment centres were dealt with in less than four hours.

This is a four percent improvement compared to June, but remains nine percent lower than the next worst-performing trust.

The centres assess the health needs of any patient walking into the hospital and provide treatment for less serious conditions.

They are run by a separate subcontracted “GP cooperative” called Partnership of East London Co-operatives (PELC).

Mr Trainer, who has no direct control over PELC, said his hospitals are “working closely” with it to speed up how quickly patients are assessed, so those with more serious conditions can be sent to A&E.