‘Des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion’ for A&Es

‘Mayor and govern­ment need to stop ig­nor­ing our cries for help’

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

WEST Lon­don pa­tients face some of the long­est A&E wait­ing times in the coun­try, due to ‘un­der-re­sourc­ing, un­der­staffing, and in­creased work­loads’, says Hilling­don and Eal­ing’s Lon­don As­sem­bly mem­ber.

In Jan­uary, the Hilling­don Hospi­tals Trust A&E failed to see more than 1,500 pa­tients within four hours.

NHS data shows a con­tin­u­ing trend of de­cline in wait­ing times for the most se­ri­ous emer­gency cases.

A&Es are ex­pected to treat 95 per cent of pa­tients within four hours, in ac­cor­dance with NHS stan­dard wait­ing time tar­gets. At the Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal Trust A&E depart­ment, 1,574 pa­tients had to wait longer than four hours – al­most a three­fold in­crease over the past eight months.

Dr Onkar Sa­hota, Labour Lon­don As­sem­bly mem­ber for Eal­ing and Hilling­don, said: “Th­ese fig­ures rep­re­sent the ut­ter fail­ure of the govern­ment to recog­nise the des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion in west Lon­don hospi­tals. Un­der-re­sourc­ing, un­der­staffing and in­creased work­loads are caus­ing th­ese fail­ures.

“As our emer­gency ser­vices strug­gle, the Mayor of Lon­don and the govern­ment have ig­nored our cries for help.

“Let’s not for­get, the mayor has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to ad­dress health in­equal­i­ties in our cap­i­tal, and res­i­dents in west Lon­don are go­ing to be left ask­ing why they aren’t get­ting the same level of ser­vice as oth­ers.”

The Hilling­don Hospi­tals trust has seen a re­cent and dra­matic de­cline in per­for­mance, the Labour AM says.

Dr Sa­hota added: “Our am­bu­lances are miss­ing their tar­gets, our GP wait­ing times are get­ting longer, trust deficits are get­ting worse and the A&E sys­tem in west Lon­don is fail­ing pa­tients.

“What will it take for the mayor and the govern­ment to stand up for Lon­don­ers?’

Hilling­don Hospi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust states that it was ‘ex­cep­tion­ally chal­lenged’ dur­ing Jan­uary 2016, with 5,191 at­ten­dances in the month alone.

A spokesper­son said: “This was an in­crease of 500 at­ten­dances (10 per cent) when com­pared with the same pe­riod in 2014/15.

“In ad­di­tion, the num­ber of pa­tients we are re­ceiv­ing via am­bu­lance as emer­gen­cies has in­creased year on year by 16 per cent.

“The trust, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Hilling­don Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group, hosted a se­ries of mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary work­shops in Jan­uary with the pri­mary aim of im­prov­ing pa­tient flow in the emer­gency depart­ment.

“A key as­pect of the work fo­cuses on in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity within the A&E depart­ment to bet­ter meet surges in de­mand.

“In ad­di­tion, it con­cen­trates on refining cur­rent path­ways and de­vel­op­ing new path­ways of care that ei­ther avoid the pa­tient com­ing into the emer­gency depart­ment or al­low for early trans­fer of care to spe­cial­ity teams.”

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