Anger over hos­pi­tals’ wait­ing times

Rutherglen Reformer - - Election Special - Dou­glas Dickie

Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang hospi­tal pa­tients who go to A& E in Glas­gow are more likely to be left wait­ing for over four hours than pa­tients else­where in La­nark­shire.

Fig­ures show NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde (NHSGGC) hos­pi­tals have failed to meet the 95 per cent tar­get ev­ery week this year.

NHS La­nark­shire fares lit­tle bet­ter, meet­ing the tar­get just once in 2016.

On av­er­age, 89.1 per cent of pa­tients go­ing to A&E in Glas­gow have been seen within four hours this year, com­pared with 91.4 per cent at NHS La­nark­shire hos­pi­tals.

Although Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang fall un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of NHS La­nark­shire, most peo­ple from the area use Glas­gow hos­pi­tals.

Fig­ures re­leased last week for the week end­ing April 3 show 766 out of 6,978 pa­tients in Glas­gow were left wait­ing for over four hours. Of them, 28 had to wait eight hours be­fore see­ing a doc­tor.

In the same week 3,890 peo­ple vis­ited a La­nark­shire A& E de­part­ment and 332 waited over four hours – with 35 wait­ing longer than eight hours and three peo­ple wait­ing more than 12 hours.

Across the two re­gions, Glas­gow Royal In­fir­mary was the worst per­former with just 81.5 per cent.

NHSGCC’s web­site en­cour­ages Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang res­i­dents to at­tend the Queen El­iz­a­beth Univer­sity Hospi­tal, where 87.2 per cent of pa­tients were seen within four hours in the week up to April 3.

At the NHS La­nark­shire Hospi­tal clos­est to the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang area, Hairmyres, 1,293 peo­ple at­tended A&E there and 92.3 per cent were seen within the fourhour limit.

A spokesman for NHSGGC in­sisted the fig­ures were im­prov­ing: “We are fully com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing pa­tients are seen, treated and ei­ther ad­mit­ted or dis­charged as quickly as pos­si­ble and want to thank our hard work­ing staff for all their ef­forts.

“Per­for­mance fig­ures for emer­gency de­part­ments, by their na­ture, will al­ways fluc­tu­ate on a day to day ba­sis. The cur­rent per­for­mance across GGC re­mains con­sis­tently bet­ter than the same pe­riod last year. This progress has been achieved de­spite the chal­lenges win­ter tra­di­tion­ally brings na­tion­ally.

“The mi­gra­tion of three emer­gency de­part­ments be­com­ing one at the QEUH has led to 12 hour stays in A&E fall­ing by al­most 97 per cent, while eight hours stays have de­creased by more than 80 per cent over the last 12 months.

“We are con­fi­dent the steps we have been putting in place will fur­ther im­prove wait­ing times.

“Th­ese steps in­clude treat­ing hun­dreds of pa­tients at our three Mi­nor In­jury Units, which are en­tirely sep­a­rate to emer­gency de­part­ments; ser­vices to sup­port pa­tients to re­turn home at the week­end; and close work­ing with lo­cal au­thor­ity col­leagues to en­sure peo­ple are dis­charged as soon as they are ready.”

Heather Knox, NHS La­nark­shire’s di­rec­tor of acute ser­vices, said: “Our staff work hard to avoid de­lays and we re­gret any oc­ca­sion where this oc­curs. The chal­lenge to meet the na­tional tar­get is not unique to NHS La­nark­shire and is ex­pe­ri­enced by acute hos­pi­tals across the country.

“What the statis­tics can­not show is the range of com­plex con­di­tions peo­ple present with and the im­pact this can have on wait­ing times. Our pri­or­ity is al­ways to en­sure the safety of our pa­tients and to pro­vide ef­fec­tive care and treat­ment based on clin­i­cal pri­or­ity.”

Long wait Only 87.2 per cent of A&E pa­tients were seen within four hours at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Univer­sity Hospi­tal in the week lead­ing up to April 3

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