Hornchurch & Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, has visited Havering’s Queen’s Hospital ahead of the revamping this week of the on-site Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC).
Mrs Lopez’s visit comes after she and her team raised residents’ concerns about the UTC’s performance last winter. The local MP has continued to engage with health executives and Ministers to make sure urgent and emergency care improves ahead of the Christmas period. The UTC, run by PELC, is now to operate from a different part of the hospital site to deliver patients an improved service in a better designed facility, including a more suitable entrance and treatment area for children.
Mrs Lopez was shown the improved facility as well as the hospital’s new Infusion Suite and Discharge Lounge, which gives elderly patients a more comfortable experience as they prepare to return home.
She also met the Queen’s executive team, who set out the significant improvements that have been made to performance since a difficult winter in 2022/23 when residents shared some of their poor experiences at Mrs Lopez’s local constituency surgery. Ambulance handover and waiting times have now substantially improved, and Queen’s is steadily climbing in the ranks when it comes to treating the most seriously ill patients and cutting waits in urgent and emergency care pathways.
A new NHS hub is due to open next year in Mrs Lopez’s seat and she discussed with the Queen’s Hospital team what they plan to do with the space that will be freed up when renal and other services are moved into the community.
Mrs Lopez said, ‘I am grateful, as always, to the hospital and PELC teams for their openness in discussing the challenges they face and their efforts to respond to the concerns residents have raised with me. We have a shared interest in making sure patients get the quality of care they need and I am glad to say that we have a lot to look forward to in 2024 when the new St George’s NHS Hub in Hornchurch is due to open.
That facility will strip out a great deal of pressure currently on the Queen’s Hospital site. This is why I have always made it my number one campaigning priority. It will bring measurable improvements to patient care and make sure that people are kept out of hospital in cases where they are better cared for closer to home.’