Patients remain at risk of poor care in an NHS trust which has faced serious concerns after the deaths of two pregnant women, according to a report published today.
An investigation into Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRT) by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) "identifies serious problems and places requirements on the Trust to deliver fundamental and wide-ranging improvements", the CQC said.
Its investigation into the King George and Queen's Hospital sites, at Ilford and Romford respectively, began in early July.
The CQC said that "despite some signs of improvement in recent months, patients remain at risk of poor care in this Trust".
It added: "While the most immediate concerns were around maternity services, failings were also identified in emergency care and in radiology. Widespread improvement is needed in patient flows, the management of complaints, staff recruitment and governance in order to improve patient experience."
The chief executive of the trust apologised last month for failings in the standard of care given to two women who died after using its maternity service.
Violet Stephens died in Queen's Hospital in April, after being admitted with pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition in pregnant women.
Channel 4 News said a report into her death uncovered a "succession of failures" in her care.
The serious untoward incident report found there was a failure to administer a blood transfusion as planned, a delay in making the decision to deliver her baby, and when she was found unresponsive with gasping breath, it took 25 minutes for a cardiac arrest call to be made, the news programme said.
Tebussum Ali, known as Sareena, died with her newborn baby at the hospital in January.
The report into those deaths said hospital staff failed to spot the signs of a ruptured womb and then tried to resuscitate Ms Ali with a disconnected oxygen mask, according to Channel 4 News.
Local MP Margaret Hodge said: "This report is a damning indictment of the safety and quality of care at Queen's Hospital.
"As the CQC report says, Queen's simply cannot cope. That's why it would be madness to close the A&E and maternity units at King George Hospital.
"The report is shocking but not surprising to those of us who have been campaigning for better hospital services for years.
"In a modern NHS it is scandalous that maternity services are so poor that the lives of mothers and babies are at risk from unsafe care."
The Labour MP for Barking added: "This has gone on far too long. The Department of Health and NHS London must stop simply blaming hospital management and take responsibility.
"Everybody must now focus all their energies on turning around these failing services and ensuring patients receive the basic standards of care they have a right to expect."
The CQC said that action had already been taken, ahead of publication of the report, to address its immediate concerns about maternity services provided by the Trust.
"During the course of the investigation, an unannounced inspection of maternity services found that the risk of poor care was unacceptably high," it said.
Short-term improvements were made.
"However, CQC has been very clear that these improvements need to be sustainable in the longer term, and has made strategic recommendations for BHRT and its commissioners to this effect."
The CQC said the Trust does not have the right systems and processes in place to identify and reduce risk to patients, and addresses issues on a short-term basis, rather than looking for longer-term solutions to delivering better patient care.