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INSPECTORS yesterday unveiled a damning verdict on two further London hospitals under the same management as the notoriously criticised Whipps Cross, following new figures showing private involvement had seen health trust deficits increase sevenfold.
Care Quality Commission reports into Newham University Hospital and the Royal London Hospital found staff shortages, a lack of beds and whopping 18-week delays between referral and treatment.
The east London hospitals are governed by Barts Health NHS Trust which was placed in “special measures” in March after a report slammed its Whipps Cross site for overcrowded wards and a culture of bullying among staff.
Around 50 patients are seeking to sue Barts following concerns over their treatment.
Hospital inspections supremo Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “It is clear that the leadership issues we found at Whipps Cross were replicated at the other hospitals.
“It is three years since the merger which formed the trust — but there is still a lack of engagement with the staff, low morale, high levels of stress, even confusion among the workforce about who is in charge.”
Mr Richards laid the blame firmly at the door of managers, saying “the culture and the leadership issues” had to be addressed ahead of “individual concerns.”
Meanwhile it was revealed that English NHS trusts had raked up a total deficit of £822 million in 2014-15, compared with just £115m the previous year.
This included a £349m deficit from foundation trusts — the New Labour devolution project slammed for allowing privatisation via the back door.
Trusts spent an eye watering £1.8 billon on contract and agency staff, more than double the amount they had planned for.
Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the figures pointed to “a growing crisis in the NHS on David Cameron’s watch.”
“Without more money this year and next, the NHS will have to brace itself for a round of severe cuts to staffing, beds and services.
“Rather than empty promises, the Prime Minister must urgently produce a plan to sort out the problems he has caused.”
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