Troubles Mount at Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Last summer, just after the general election, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) announced the closure of a 25 bed urology ward, aiming to increase daycase and short stay surgery to treat patients.  The ward will be used as an overflow facility if there are bed problems in the winter.  In addition, in July 2005 the Healthcare Commission put the QEH in the worth 5% of hospitals in the country when it awarded it no stars.  This was a fall from the two stars awarded last year and in comparison, Queen Mary’s hospital in Sidcup and Lewisham Hospital were awarded one star and Bromley Hospital two stars.  Although the QEH did well on the speed of cancer treatment and cancelled operations, it missed targets relating to a maximum 9 month wait for operations, financial management (it finished the year £5 million in deficit) and the 4 hour A&E waiting time.  It was also rated below average on MRSA and hospital food targets.  At the same time, the Healthcare Commission reported on the Labour Government’s patient choice programme saying:

 

“…our health services still have a long way to go before we can say that they are really putting patients first.  Being an NHS patient is too often a frustrating experience.”