Hospital fails to meet A&E patient targets
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.