Lawyer’s ‘concerned’ about delays in action

Lawyers representing a number of patients affected by ‘woefully lacking’ care at a hospital run by the latest NHS trust to be put into special measures have today voiced concern about the speed at which claims of negligence and inadequate care are being investigated by the authorities.

The CQC exposed a myriad of issues at the Whipps Cross University Hospital including a lack of focus on patient safety and a poor A&E service.

Further to the implementation of the special measures, the Trust must now strengthen its leadership team at the hospital - ensuring rapid improvements to quality of care. The report reveals that it will get its own dedicated managing director, nursing director and medical director to help implement the improvements.

But despite welcoming the move as a ‘step in the right direction’, leading medical law experts at Leigh Day - which represent patients of the Trust who allegedly suffered as a result of issues including staffing levels - today voiced concern about the delay in taking action to place the hospital under strict regulatory monitoring.

The law firm is now hosting an open meeting for their clients, which will be open to other patients and their families affected by the care they received at Whipps Cross University Hospital.

Emma Jones, a Solicitor at Leigh Day said: “We welcome the publication of this report which follows a very thorough investigation into the care being received by patients at the Whipps Cross University Hospital in recent years; but for many of my clients this move to place Barts Health NHS Trust, the Trust responsible for running the Hospital, into special measures comes too late.

“The report reveals a number of serious, fundamental issues in the way the hospital is managed and the way patients are treated; with the thorough investigation also exposing a lack of staff antagonised by a culture of bullying and harassment – concerns raised as key aspects in the cases we at Leigh Day have managed time and time again.”

Whipps Cross University Hospital is part of the 21st  English trust to be put into special measures after the Care Quality Commission reported Whipps Cross Hospital in east London to be “inadequate”.  This report from the CCQ is one of its most critical reports to date.

Emma said: “We are representing a number of families who went to the Whipps Cross University Hospital in London and experienced woefully lacking care delivered by insufficient numbers of overstretched staff.

“We are hearing about these issues not just at Whipps Cross University Hospital, but at many hospitals throughout England and Wales.

“It is deeply concerning that it has come to a point where this Trust has been put in special measures in order to monitor the care patients received, and deeply disappointing that it has taken this long to put in to action.”

Emma and the Leigh Day team are currently investigating over 220 claims at over 25 Trusts.

The Trust’s former Chief Executive, Peter Morris, resigned last month after a 45-strong team of CQC inspectors who spent six days at Whipps Cross last November found that many of the improvements they had recommended after visiting it a year before had not been made.