GPs in CCGs investigate A&Es for first time over patient safety fears

GP commissioners are for the first time investigating busy A&E departments over patient safety fears and concerns about staff shortages.

Dr Kakad: 'Patient safety is our number one priority.'
Dr Kakad: 'Patient safety is our number one priority.'

Three neighbouring CCGs - Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge - announced the external clinical review this week of safety at the A&Es at Queen’s Hospital and King George Hospital, both part of the same hospital trust in east London.

The CCGs said the probe into emergency care at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUHT) was due to ‘long-standing concerns about performance’ and more recent staff shortage concerns highlighted by the trust.

Clinical director of Havering CCG Dr Jitendra Kakad 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 its findings as quickly as possible.

‘Together with our key partners – BHRUHT, 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.’

Chief executive of the hospital trust Averil Dongworth welcomed the external review. She said: ‘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.’

This week the government announced a £500m bail-out for A&E departments in England, which the RCGP said would be better spent on 3,000 extra GPs and 3,000 extra nurses in primary care.

Marina Soteriou

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