Hos­pi­tal fails to meet A&E pa­tient tar­gets

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By ASHA ME­HTA asha.me­hta@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

THE city’s hos­pi­tals are to be called to ac­count af­ter fail­ing to hit a key A&E tar­get.

Peter­bor­ough District Hos­pi­tal and Stam­ford Hos­pi­tal missed a tar­get set in their con­tract with NHS Peter­bor­ough, which re­quires them to see, treat, trans­fer or dis­charge more than 98 per cent of A&E pa­tients within four hours.

But be­tween April 1 and June 9 this year, both hos­pi­tals fell be­low this, treat­ing 97.5 per cent of the 12,840 pa­tients who went to A&E in this pe­riod.

Bosses at NHS Peter­bor­ough, which com­mis­sions ser­vices from the hos­pi­tals, said they would hold Peter­bor­ough and Stam­ford NHS Foun­da­tion Trust to ac­count and were work­ing on an ac­tion plan to tackle the is­sue.

Sarah Shut­tle­wood, di­rec­tor of con­tracts and per­for­mance at NHS Peter­bor­ough, said: “The trust is not meet­ing their agreed tar­get con­tri­bu­tion set out in their con­tract with us of 98 per cent.

“NHS Peter­bor­ough as the leader of the lo­cal NHS and com­mis­sioner of these ser­vices for lo­cal peo­ple is re­spon­si­ble for hold­ing the trust to ac­count in achiev­ing this tar­get. We are work­ing with the trust to en­sure their plans are ro­bust and we are mon­i­tor­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion.”

How­ever, the hos­pi­tals are meet­ing the Govern­ment’s na­tional tar­get of see­ing more than 98 per cent of pa­tients within four hours be­cause it com­bines the num­bers of pa­tients vis­it­ing both hos­pi­tal A&Es, walk-in cen­tres and Stam­ford mi­nor in­juries unit.

The hos­pi­tal trust’s chief op­er­at­ing of- fi­cer Rowena Barnes said: “Al­though on av­er­age, the trust has per­formed slightly be­low NHS Peter­bor­ough’s tar­get since April 1, there have been fluc­tu­a­tions in per­for­mance; for ex­am­ple, dur­ing the past two weeks the trust has per­formed bet­ter than the tar­get of 98 per cent.”

She said there were sev­eral fac­tors for these vari­a­tions in­clud­ing peaks and troughs in ac­tiv­ity af­fected by the day and time of the week and sea­sons.

The trust has also no­ticed that there have been more pa­tients than usual com­ing dur­ing the early evening and there­fore staffing lev­els were con­cen­trated at the wrong parts of the day to deal with the up­surge.

In re­sponse to this, pat­terns of staffing have been re­viewed to meet this new early evening de­mand.

She added: “In ad­di­tion, some clin­i­cally com­plex cases, such as pa­tients re­quir­ing re­sus­ci­ta­tion, can take more than four hours to treat.

“In other cases if there is not a suit­able avail­able bed, par­tic­u­larly in busy pe­ri­ods, a pa­tient may need to wait longer than four hours to be trans­ferred to a ward.

“We are al­ways look­ing at ways of en­sur­ing that we pro­vide high qual­ity care and that tar­gets are met by look­ing at

taR­GEtS: Hos­pi­tal trust chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Rowena Barnes.

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