Hornchurch & Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, took up residents’ concerns about A&E waits at Queen’s Hospital in a meeting today with Steve Rubery, incoming Chief Executive of the Partnership of East London Co-operatives (PELC), the body that manages Havering’s Urgent Treatment Centres.
Julia has been receiving a number of complaints from constituents presenting themselves for care at Queen’s Hospital about waiting times, inadequate seating and poor organisation.
A&E and minor injuries/illness treatments at Queen’s Hospital are provided by two different providers within the same site. PELC is responsible for the Urgent Treatment Centre which supports those with minor injuries and illness, whereas it is the hospital trust, BHRUT, which is responsible for providing A&E services for those with more serious injuries.
Julia and her team have been sharing constituents’ experiences with both the Chief Executive of BHRUT, the Trust responsible for Queen’s Hospital, and the former Chief Executive of PELC. Since then, NHS teams have been working hard to develop a new joint entry system in which all visiting patients attending A&E will be triaged jointly by both PELC and BHRUT staff before being seen by either of the respective units.
The Chief Executive of BHRUT has confirmed that this new system was introduced in May and, though operational only for a short while, early indications are positive and there has been a visible reduction in queues. In today’s meeting Mr Rubery, in his role as Chief Executive of PELC, confirmed further refinements will be coming soon, including the provision of an on-site primary care provision, allowing those presenting at the hospital with a need that would be better served by GP services to access a booked appointment, reducing queues and removing uncertainty on when patients can expect to be seen.
Julia has been particularly concerned about those complaints involving parents with young children, and was very pleased to learn PELC are developing plans for a dedicated paediatric doctor at the UTC that an increased priority for children attending the facility will be provided alongside a separate dedicated pathway.
Julia will continue to engage with both PELC and BHRUT to monitor the delivery of these measures and to ensure that any improvements they deliver are maintained long-term.
In addition to the UTC at Queen’s Hospital, PELC is also responsible for the Harold Wood UTC (formally known as the Polyclinic), services that have both been rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as requiring improvement. Julia pressed Mr Rubery for further information on PELC’s action plan to address the issues highlighted by CQC inspections.
Julia said: ‘I was really glad to meet Steve Rubery so soon after his recent appointment as the Chief Executive of PELC, and was impressed by his open and constructive approach to addressing some of the challenges we are seeing in care as we recover from the pandemic. While perhaps one of the lesser-known health bodies within our constituency, PELC plays a key role in the community’s interactions with the health service and it is important that we see an improvement in the performance of its services. I welcome the robust measures that PELC will be taking to address the challenges constituents have highlighted, particularly at Queen’s Hospital, where the pressure has been more acute. I have offered Steve and the PELC team any support that I can provide in their efforts to deliver these improvements and to address the Care Quality Commission’s concerns.’
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