Tooting MP blasts ‘failing’ government for new ‘inadequate’ St George’s ranking

Rosena Allin-Khan has criticised government health policy after a report released today classified St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as inadequate, needing special measures.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) report explained the rating reflected a marked deterioration in the safety and quality of the trust services, which covers St George’s Hospital, Tooting and Queen Mary’s in Roehampton.

The report recommended the trust be placed into special measures, and Dr Allin-Khan said it was indicative of a wider problem.

The Tooting MP said: “The government promised an NHS that works for patients but they are failing right up and down the country.

“What we see here in Tooting is a hospital and trust being stripped back to the bone.”

The report said several areas of the St George’s estate were in disrepair, and the Emergency Department was not large enough for the current throughput of patients, compromising their privacy and dignity.

“The buildings are in a poor state, leaking roofs, inadequate IT facilities, and the A&E department has too few doctors,” said Dr Allin-Khan.

“Had the government given the hospital the resources it needed – we wouldn’t be faced with the situation we have today.”

Tooting councillor Dan Watkins said the report confirmed residents’ fears about the state of the trust after a recent upheaval in its senior leadership team.

He said it is right that additional measures and support will now be put in place to improve performance.

Mr Watkins also argued while St George’s faced a rising demand for its services, there was also a big increase in funding and in the number of front-line staff working there.

He said: “St George’s is a much loved local institution and I know how much the community value the huge efforts of its staff.

“We hope they are supported during this difficult period and that the situation is swiftly improved.”

Dr Allin-Khan, who worked in St George’s A&E department, also commended the staff’s throughout the hospital.

She said: “Let’s not forget the report pays tribute to the staff who do a fantastic job under really difficult circumstances.”

The report noted there was good care in several areas, and a trust spokesperson emphasised work done since the CQC inspection, including increased safeguarding training for staff and the refurbishment of two operating theatres.

Sir David Henshaw, interim chair at St George’s since the end of March 2016, said: “We have a new leadership team in place, and real progress has been made since June.

“However, as we’ve always said, there will be no quick fix to the problems we face.

“Many of these challenges are due to very poor Board and senior management decisions in the past, and a failure to tackle the big challenges head on.

“We owe it to our staff and patients to make St George’s better again, and the CQC’s report is a key part of this improvement journey.”

The trust serves 1.3million people, and employs around 9,000 staff.

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