The Health Secretary today accepted a report by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) on the Health for North East London clinical case for change, which includes the best future for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.
However, no changes will take place until the Care Quality Commission, which published its own report on local services today, has assured the Secretary of State that the services provided by Queen’s Hospital and other local health services are of a high standard. The IRP recommendations also require a vision for the future of King George’s Hospital in Ilford to have been presented prior to implementation.
As the IRP report makes clear, the proposals set out in Health for North East London, first published for public consultation in 2009, offer the best possible configuration of local health services to provide a high quality NHS in the future. The Secretary of State for Health has accepted the IRP’s recommendations in full, but they will only proceed to implementation when actions agreed by the Trust in cooperation with NHS London and the wider local NHS, in response to the Care Quality Commission’s inspection report, are implemented, and the Secretary of State has been assured of their effect.
The publication of the IRP report follows immediately from publication by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of the findings of its recent inspection visits to Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust. The CQC has identified key failings in the Trusts’s maternity care, as well as issues in radiology and emergency care. Action has already been taken by the Trust to address the CQC’s immediate concerns about maternity services.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
“Patient safety and the quality of care must be our top priority.
“I support the Care Quality Commission’s findings, and the decisions taken by the local NHS to support safe care at the Trust. When we can be sure that those decisions have resulted in sustainable improvements in the quality of services for local people, the next set of decisions - to provide the right care in the right place - will be implemented. This must include a vision for the future of services at King George Hospital”
“We should celebrate the NHS’s achievements, but also be prepared to shine a spotlight on problems where they exist; because poor performance is not just a statistic or a line on a graph. It means patients being let down, or hurt, or worse.
“I know Queen’s Hospital and its staff well, and I know that they have made much progress for local patients recently - such as reducing the rate of hospital acquired infections.
“Both Queen’s Hospital and King George’s will have a great future ahead of it when the right measures have been put in place to make sure that patients are going to the right place for their care. As I have made clear, where hospital trusts show that they are facing up to their issues, and taking recovery decisions, we will support them. The CQC identify the positive response to new leadership at the trust. NHS London , and I, will support them in delivering the improvements in quality and sustainability of services required.”
Notes to Editors
Further details of the IRP report on Health for North East London are available on the IRP website.
Further details of the CQC’s report of its inspection findings from Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust are available on the CQC website.