NHS commissioners have announced that an external clinical review will take place into the safety of accident and emergency departments at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust.

The move was announced this morning by Barking and Dagenham Clinical Commissioning Group, Havering Clinical Commissioning Group, and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group.

The CCGs said the external review followed long-standing concerns about the performance of emergency care at Barking, Havering and Redbridge.

These had been compounded by more recent concerns “highlighted by the trust and which we share, about potential patient safety risks due to permanent medical staffing issues”, the CCGs said in a statement.

The trust has two A&E departments, one at Queen’s Hospital in Romford and the other at King George Hospital in Redbridge.

The CCGs said the external review has been set up with support from the trust, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority.

It will start this week and expected to be completed later this month.

Havering CCG clinical director Jitendra Kakad said: “As GPs and commissioners of local health services, patient safety is our number one priority. That’s why we have asked the review team to report their findings as quickly as possible.

“We will carefully consider the review findings later this month. We will then identify any actions required to improve the quality and safety of A&E services.”

Averil Dongworth, chief executive of the hospital trust, welcomed the external review.

She said: “It is really important that both staff and management at the trust and CCGs respond quickly and in partnership to the pressure on our local A&Es.

“This process will help ensure services remain safe for local people in the future.”