NHS trust which runs Newham University Hospital put into special measures

Newham General Hospital entrance in Glen Road, Plaistow.

Newham General Hospital entrance in Glen Road, Plaistow. - Credit: Archant

Campaigners have raised concerns that Newham University Hospital could face “funding pressures” after the trust that runs it was put under special measures today.

Barts Health NHS Trust was placed under special measures by the NHS Trust Development Authority following a Care Quality Commission report into Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, which found it to be “inadequate”.

The trust, which runs six hospitals including Newham and Whipps Cross, reported a £93 million deficit last month.

Dr Ron Singer, chairman of campaign group Newham Save Our NHS, said: “There is now increased concern regarding the significant funding pressures Newham will now face.

“As Newham campaigners our job is to support Newham Hospital in terms of its ability to serve the people of Newham and beyond. We are very aware of the demoralising affect on staff and will do all we can to help.”

The report, carried out in November last year, highlighted that significant improvements were required to urgent and emergency services, medical care, surgery, services for children and young people, end of life care and outpatients at Whipps Cross Hospital.

It also found staff morale to be low and concerns over a culture of bullying and harassment.

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Barts Health Trust executive Peter Morris, who announced he was stepping down last month, said the trust was “sorry for the falings” identified in the report.

He said: “Barts Health is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of every one of its patients. This report describes services that fall a long way short of what we aspire to.

“We are very sorry for the failings identified by the CQC in some of our services at Whipps Cross and we know the trust has a big challenge ahead.

“The special measures regime is designed to aid service improvement by providing help and support where it is most needed.

“It has worked well with NHS organisations in other parts of the country and I am confident it will work here.”

Since February 19, three senior staff members have stepped down including Peter Morris, chief nurse Kay Riley and trust chairman Sir Stephen O’Brien.

The Care Quality Commission has yet to report on the quality of services offered at Newham University Hospital.

Dr Zuhair Zarifa, chair of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Newham University Hospital’s performance has been consistently above the target of 95% of patients not waiting longer than four hours in A&E.

The latest Friends and Family Test from December 2014 shows that 91.2% of patients at Newham would recommend the hospital.

“We welcome the approach to strengthened site management on the Whipps Cross site and we will be working with the Trust to ensure that a similar approach is adopted for the Newham University Hospital site.

“We are working in partnership with Barts Health, patients, local councils, Healthwatch and other key stakeholders to develop a strategy for east London that will transform the way we care for patients; preventing ill health and supporting people to live healthier lives.”