News Third of all pa­tients had to wait FOUR hours in A&E

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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