Emergency care at Queen's and King George Hospitals has improved, but more must be done according to the health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated urgent and emergency services at the two hospitals, as 'requires improvement' after October and November inspections this year.

This comes after both hospitals received overall 'inadequate' ratings in November 2022.

The CQC's deputy director of London operations has since praised the improvement.

Jane Ray said: “When we inspected urgent and emergency services at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals (BHRUT) NHS Trust, we found improvements had been made since our last inspection to reduce waiting times and improve people’s safety.

“We’ve told the trust where improvements still need to be made, and where there’s good practice to build on."

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BHRUT welcomed the improved CQC rating ahead of Christmas.

Matthew Trainer, BHRUT chief executive, said: “The improvement in our CQC ratings is a well-deserved Christmas present for our A&E teams at Queen’s and King George hospitals. 

“I was particularly struck by the positive feedback we received about the clinical care in our A&Es.

"We have excellent clinicians doing their best in what are sometimes very tough circumstances."

Mr Trainer went on to say he still was sorry that some people continue to wait for "too long", but said the CQC report had marked an improvement.

He added: “I know we need to do more and I’m sorry some people are still waiting too long.

"However, the inspectors have confirmed that we are heading in the right direction."

Queen's Hospital also had its ratings in categories 'safe' and 'responsive' increased from 'inadequate' to 'requires improvement'.

Even better were its ratings for 'caring' and 'well-led', which have been rated as 'good', along with its 'effectiveness' rating.

King George's had the same increase to 'requires improvement' from 'inadequate' in categories 'safe' and 'responsive'.

Its rating for 'well-led' has been raised from "requires improvement" to 'good'.

The service was not previously rated for effective and caring, BHRUT said, but these are now 'good'.

Both hospitals remain rated 'requires improvement', as does the trust.

"We’ll continue to monitor these services, including through further inspections, to make sure people receive safe care," added Ms Ray.