Whipps Cross aims to avoid winter of woe

Whipps Cross University Hospital

Whipps Cross University Hospital, Leytonstone

The NHS trust that runs Whipps Cross University Hospital has vowed to ensure “safe and compassionate care” ahead of a winter in which it is expected to come under intense  pressure.

Earlier this year the Leytonstone hospital was labelled ‘inadequate’ by a government watchdog and the trust placed under special measures.

One of the key findings published in March by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was that there were “not enough doctors and nurses to ensure safe care”.  This is now being rectified, according to Barts Health NHS Trust.

A spokeswoman said: “We are determined to make lasting improvements to care at Whipps Cross, led by a strong management team to resolve issues raised by patients and staff more quickly.

“That’s why we are working tirelessly to implement a thorough plan that will make all care provided safe and compassionate as a matter of course.

“In the emergency department we are recruiting additional consultants and nurses as well as ensuring patients who no longer need to be in hospital are safely discharged sooner with any community support they need.”

New facilities at Whipps Cross have opened, and more are planned.

“A new ambulatory care unit is now seeing up to 40 patients a day and reducing the burden on the ED.

“We are also building two new operating theatres, updating equipment, refurbishing wards including the palliative care centre, and upgrading the high dependency unit and breast screening department.”

The CQC report issued four warnings, requiring Barts Health Trust to improve care of patients, monitoring services, staffing levels, and handling complaints.

Prior to its publication, three trust bosses resigned. Since then a new management team has been appointed specifically to run Whipps Cross.

Barts Health is currently running the largest deficit – £93million – of any NHS trust in the country.

A monthly progress report will be published at www.bartshealth.nhs.uk/improvement