Bosses insist improvement of care at Whipps Cross has been “significant”, despite the fact the hospital remains in special measures.

Whipps Cross was placed into special measures by healthcare watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after a damning report in 2015.

Findings of a fresh inspection, published in December last year, found improvements had been made at the Leytonstone hospital, but still rated the centre “inadequate” overall.

Director of planned care at Whipps Cross, Deborah Madden, said staff were “disappointed” by the report, but “heartened” inspectors had found improvement.

She added: “It was the best improvement ever made in between CQC reports so there were really significant changes.

“There is no one who wants patient care to be improved more than the staff that work here.

“My whole focus is patients, this is my local hospital too and I want patients to get great care as do all our nursing and medical staff.

“The pace of our improvement is quite significant, the CQC recognised that in their last report, they saw some significant changes, many of them within a short amount of time.

“We have improved so much already that we know we can do it and now we are aiming to get every area rated good.”

The most recent CQC report found the hospital’s A&E department still required improvement, with patients waiting more than double the 15-minute target time for an initial assessment.

End-of-life care was also judged to be poor, with inspectors noting they saw dying patients in visible pain who did not get help from staff.

The hospital did however receive “good” ratings for its maternity and gynaecology services and its care of children and young people.

However, Waltham Forest council hit out at the hospital operator Barts Health at the time findings were published, claiming improvement had been too slow.

The local authority called for a complete redevelopment of Whipps Cross in order to improve the standard of care.

Alastair Finney, Barts Health strategy programme director, added: “There is so much improvement going on, physical as well as cultural. “But, you cannot underestimate the challenge of the improvement that was needed here.

“If you compare our 2017 CQC report with the 2015 one, the challenge was enormous so I think inevitably improvement is going to take time.

“But the difference between the two is huge, a third of the services rated inadequate then are now rated good. We are absolutely committed to the improvement but it does take time.”