Review launched amid concerns over patient safety at A&E departments run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals Trust

An external review has been launched into the safety of Accident and Emergency departments run by the trust serving Redbridge amid concerns over patient safety.

The review, announced this morning by Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), will look into “medical staffing issues” which could be affecting care.

There have been long-running concerns about emergency care provided by Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals Trust (BHRHT), which runs King George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s in Romford.

The review, starting this week, will include visits to A&E departments and comes after nationwide NHS figures in June revealed BHRHT had the longest waiting times for emergency treatment in London.

Plans are being made to shut King George's A&E unit and move resources to Queen's.

Despite King George's A&E being judged as better performing than Queen's, a provisional date for its closure has been set for 2015.

The trust is also considering shutting King George's A&E during the night in the short-term

Dr Jitendra Kakad, clinical director of Havering CCG, speaking on behalf of the CCGs, said: “As GPs and commissioners of local health services, patient safety is our number one priority.

"That’s why we have asked the review team to report their findings as quickly as possible.

“Together with our key partners – BHRHT, local councils, London Ambulance Service and Healthwatch – we will carefully consider the review findings later this month.

"We will then identify any actions required to improve the quality and safety of A&E services for local people.

"We are committed to keeping stakeholders and the public informed throughout this process.”

Averil Dongworth, BHRHT chief executive, said in a statement: “It is really important that both staff and management at the Trust and CCGs respond quickly and in partnership to the pressure on our local A&Es.

"This process will help ensure services remain safe for local people in the future.”

The CGCs are being "supported" in the review by NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority.

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