Royal Berkshire NHS Trust A&E waiting time breaches probed

Royal Berkshire Hospital
Image caption The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust provides services in Reading, Bracknell, Windsor and Henley

A health trust is being investigated for repeatedly breaching the NHS's four-hour waiting target for accident and emergency services.

Health watchdog Monitor said the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust breached the target three times in 21 months.

Monitor said it was also investigating other issues at the trust, including waiting times for cancer patients.

The trust said the investigation was not linked to the quality of care it provides to patients.

The A&E waiting times target says at least 95% of patients should be seen within four hours.

Clostridium difficile

Monitor, which regulates health services in England, said it was concerned persistent failure to meet the target may signal wider governance problems at the trust.

"Patients rightly expect the highest possible standards of care, that's why we have launched this investigation," said regional director Paul Streat.

"The investigation will determine whether the trust has breached the conditions of its licence to provide healthcare services."

Monitor said it was also investigating the time the trust had taken to implement a new electronic patient record system, the meeting of performance targets, such as length of waiting times for cancer patients, and the number of Clostridium difficile cases.

The trust's chief executive Ed Donald said the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust "continues to provide high quality and safe care to its patients".

He added: "We look forward to working with Monitor to respond to their investigation."

The Royal Berkshire NHS Trust runs hospitals in Reading, Bracknell, Windsor and Henley.

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