Hospital A&E fails over wait targets
MACCLESFIELD Hospital is failing to hit waiting time targets in A&E because of huge pressure on its services.
According to figures released on Friday the hospital had 884 people visit accident and emergency in the week ending January 4.
During that period there were 229 emergency admissions.
But 286 people had to wait more than four hours for either admission, transfer or discharge meaning only 67.6 per cent of patients were seen within the Government’s target, which sits at 95 per cent.
Macclesfield Hospital is not alone its struggle, with the current national average at 86.7 per cent, the lowest level in a decade, prompting claims of a crisis in the NHS.
The latest local figures follow a desperate appeal by East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs the town’s Hospital, urging people to think carefully about using services other than A&E because of ‘unprecedented’ demand this winter.
Until recently the trust had performed well against its target. During the three months from October to December 94 per cent of the 11,722 patients were seen within four hours.
But since December Macclesfield hospital has struggled to handle the sheer volumes of patients, a worrying trend which looks likely to continue over the coming weeks.
John Wilbraham, chief executive of East Cheshire NHS Trust, said: “As with most other hospitals, the wards, Accident and Emergency department at Macclesfield District General Hospital and community services across the area have been extremely busy in recent weeks.
“However, our staff have worked exceptionally hard to meet this challenge and I’m very proud of everything they have done to protect patient safety and the quality of our services.
“The hospital remains busy but I would like to reassure people that patients with urgent, lifethreatening conditions will continue to be prioritised and receive safe, appropriate care. I would also like to thank any patients experiencing unusually long waits for their understanding at this time.
“Clearly there has been an impact on the ability to see patients within the four-hour standard and the trust has not been able to achieve the standard in December and it is likely that this will also be the case for January. Our relative performance with other local trusts, however, is good.” ●● PEOPLE are being urged to consider alternatives to going to Macclesfield Hospital A&E because of pressure of health services.
East Cheshire NHS Trust is reminding patients that A&E should only be used for major, life-threatening illnesses and injuries.
For illnesses that are not life-threatening, people should first contact their local pharmacies, GP surgery or NHS 111.
Congleton War Memorial Hospital can also be used for minor injuries such as: burns, cuts, foreign body removal such as splinters, sprains and finger dislocations.