Last week (28th February 2015) Mike Gapes intervened in a NHS Major Incidents debate to raise concerns about cancelled operations at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT).
An extract of the exchange between Mike Gapes and Jeremy Hunt is provided below:
Mike Gapes: The hard-working and dedicated staff at Barking, Havering and Redbridge trust, at King George hospital in my constituency and Queen’s hospital in Romford, know, because their trust is in special measures, that there has been a lot of reputational damage. On 5 January, elective operations were cancelled—in my personal case, at two hours’ notice; I was not the only constituent who had to go through that—because of A and E pressures in the trust. Can the Secretary of State explain whether hospitals in special measures have a special requirement so that they do not need to declare that they are in the position of hospitals that have made the decision to say that there is a major incident, or is it just coincidental that although operations were cancelled on a large scale on 5 January no major incident was declared at Barking, Havering and Redbridge?
Jeremy Hunt (The Secretary of State for Health): I can confirm that there is no difference in any guidelines issued for hospitals in special measures and for hospitals not in special measures. This is a good example of a trust with deep, pronounced problems over many years. There was a terrible tragedy in 2007, I think, when someone gave birth sitting on a toilet seat. This Government have said that we are going to tackle those problems and put the trust into special measures. It has more doctors and nurses: 230 more hospital nurses in the past four years in that trust. We are making a real difference—we have a new management team—and I think that things are beginning to get better in that trust in a way that has not been the case for many years. I hope that the hon. Gentleman would welcome that.