Barts Health Trust, the largest in Britain, has been declared as ‘high risk’ due to failing patients. The trust, which runs six hospitals in London, is set to be subject to an inquiry, ordered by Professor Sir Mike Richards, the new Chief Inspector of Hospitals.

Whistleblowers, patients and key measures are believed to have been the indicators that the performance at the trust was far below the national average. Concerns have been raised over vast numbers of emergency cases being readmitted for further treatment, with the trust being in charge of the busiest A&E service in London.

Delays to cancer patients receiving care have also been highlighted and the trust has admitted to 10 ‘never events’, including swabs being left inside patients following surgical procedures.

Whilst it is understood that the trust has the country’s ninth lowest mortality rate, a number of medical blunders led to 28 deaths last year, and Sir Richard has indicated that there is too much variation in the quality of patient care received.

In light of the inquiry to come, Penningtons hopes that this will increase both the standard and consistency of patient care, meaning that reports of such tragic events can be avoided in the future.