The NHS trust that runs Hillingdon's hospitals has been warned it must improve.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as 'requires improvement' following a five-day inspection in October 2014.
Overall, the trust was rated 'good' at being caring, 'requires improvement' for being effective, responsive and well-led, and 'inadequate' for safety.
As a result, it was issued with two warning notices demanding improvements.
In a report, published on Tuesday (February 10), inspectors said the trust's workforce was committed and that national waiting time targets for emergency care were being met at both hospitals. However, in the months following the inspection, A&E waiting time targets were missed.
The watchdog said patients were being put at risk because of failures in systems and processes.
Inspectors highlighted staffing levels as a key issue and said the trust was not complying with infection prevention and control standards.
The chief inspector of hospitals, professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “When we inspected the hospitals run by the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we saw that the trust had failed to take sufficient action on a number of matters of patient safety which they had already identified as presenting a risk.
“We saw that the workforce at the trust was committed and we saw some examples of good practice. The trust must build on these areas and work harder on managing risks to patients effectively.
“People are entitled to receive treatment and care in services which are consistently safe, effective, caring and responsive to their needs. We will return in due course to check that the improvements we have identified have been made.”
Both of the trust's hospitals were also individually rated as 'requires improvement'.
At Hillingdon Hospital, in Pield Heath Road, Hillingdon, the services that fell under this category were A&E, medical care, surgery, critical care, maternity and family planning, children’s care, end of life care and outpatient services.
The CQC identified a number of areas where the trust must make improvements, including ensuring it complies with infection prevention and control standards and monitors cleanliness, addressing staff shortages, and ensuring all staff receive all mandatory training, among others.
However, the inspectors also praised the hospital for areas including its nurses in the Minor Injuries Unit and its specialist care for children with diabetes.
Shane DeGaris, the trust's chief executive, said: “Our overall rating is not good enough for a well-performing trust and we are determined to improve it. We aim to provide the highest standards of care to all our patients and we will use this report to help us make improvements wherever they are needed.
“The inspectors recognised and praised our staff for their commitment, compassion and desire to provide high standards of care to patients. Patient feedback to the CQC inspectors was positive about the trust’s staff and services. This is a solid foundation for us to make the improvements that need to be made.
“We have made significant progress implementing our improvement plan following the inspection and will continue to report on developments against this to the CQC and all our stakeholders and partners in the local community.”