News Third of all patients had to wait FOUR hours in A&E
A THIRD of patients admitted to University Hospital’s A&E department waited over four hours to be treated by a doctor last month.
Figures obtained by the Coventry Telegraph show that in February, just 65.1 per cent of patients attending the UHCW A&E unit were discharged, admitted or transferred within four hours of arriving.
The target is 95 per cent and the 65.1 per cent figure made it the worst performing A&E locally.
South Warwickshire’s major A&Es also recorded their worst performance since the measurement went monthly.
Around 83 per cent of the trust’s A&E patients were seen within four hours.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “The demands on emergency services have been well publicised in recent weeks and our staff have worked hard throughout this time.
“It is never acceptable to have patients waiting for care and we would like to apologise to anyone who has experienced delays.
“All the NHS and social care organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire are working together to ensure people can get the care they need.”
They added: “The public can help us by choosing the most appropriate NHS service for their condition. For example, people can visit a Walk-In Centre, their GP or pharmacist for many minor illnesses or injuries.”
Glen Burley, Chief Executive, added: “The winter period is notoriously a challenging time in healthcare and similar to the national picture, we have been experiencing increased demand on our hospital and community services.
“During February the A&E department at Warwick Hospital was exceptionally busy and it has in fact been one of the busiest periods I have ever known.
“The national four hour target is something we strive to meet, however it is important to note that Accident and Emergency Departments are just the barometer for pressures across the whole system.
“We continue to work with partners to ensure care is given in the most appropriate setting, this supports patient safety and creates more capacity within our hospitals for those who need it.
“Despite facing unusually high demand our staff have been working extremely hard to continue to provide safe care, which I am extremely proud of.”
Across England, in February, nearly a quarter of patients attending major A&Es waited more than four hours from arrival to discharge, admission or transfer, as performance on the four hour target fell to just 76.9 per cent for major A&Es, and 85 per cent across all A&Es, the worst performance since records began in August 2010.
Dr Taj Hassan, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “Unfortunately these figures are not surprising and reflect the acute and detrimental effect insufficient resources are having on our health service; patient care will continue to suffer until this changes.
“Performance that once would have been regarded as utterly unacceptable has now become normal and things are seemingly only getting worse for patients. It’s important to remember that while performance issues are more pronounced during the winter, Emergency Departments are now struggling all year round.
“Warnings and pleas for adequate resourcing have repeatedly failed to deliver with both patients and staff suffering as a result. We cannot continue in this situation - which is why we are calling on patients to contact their MP in support of our A&Es and the NHS.