One of London’s biggest A&Es was today rated as “inadequate”, while a casualty unit due to be downgraded at a sister hospital was found to be “good”.
The report has further inflamed the row over changes to A&Es in west London by revealing failings at St Mary’s - which is due to be extended - while praising emergency care at Charing Cross.
Labour MP Andy Slaughter said the plans to replace Charing Cross A&E with a GP-led “emergency centre” by 2020 “must be shelved immediately” in wake of the “depressing” Care Quality Commission report.
He said: “It would be madness to press ahead with the closure of Charing Cross A&E and the demolition of the hospital there. West London cannot cope at present with the demands on its acute hospitals.”
Today’s CQC report into Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said it “requires improvement” overall, after in-depth checks were carried out in September at four of its five hospitals - the others were Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea.
The inspection was carried out in early September, immediately prior to to the closure of Hammersmith A&E.
Last week Imperial was one of two west London trusts among the worst in the country for delays at main A&Es, a situation critics blame on the closures at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex on September 10.
Imperial was ordered by the CQC to improve hygiene and cleanliness at St Mary’s A&E, which has been done, tackle nurse shortages and explain how a backlog of more than 3,500 people awaiting surgery at Charing Cross will be reduced.
Bosses were told to ensure that patients at St Mary’s and Charing Cross were not left without food and drink for “excessively long periods”.
Bed shortages at Hammersmith were so acute that some patients had to sleep in operating theatres overnight.
But several areas were “outstanding”, such as the major trauma unit at St Mary’s, the hyper-acute stroke unit at Charing Cross and the care of premature babies with feared brain impairment.
“Excess mortality rates” across the trust, where patients die unexpectedly, were among the lowest in the country.
Anne Drinkell from Save Our Hospitals joined Wake Up London to explain.