‘Desperate situation’ for A&Es
‘Mayor and government need to stop ignoring our cries for help’
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.”