Bad news for A&E queues

Waits are get­ting longer as num­ber of ad­mis­sions in­crease

Uxbridge Gazette - - NEWS - By Claire Miller and Alexander Ballinger alexander.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­

THE num­ber of pa­tients spend­ing at least 12 hours in A&E at west Lon­don hos­pi­tals has sky­rock­eted as the num­ber of ad­mis­sions to emer­gency de­part­ments has jumped dra­mat­i­cally.

Fig­ures from the NHS have re­vealed that in 2011/12 there were 28 peo­ple at­tend­ing Im­pe­rial Col­lege Health­care NHS Trust A&Es who were spend­ing more than 12 hours in the de­part­ment, but this had sharply risen to 17,195 by 2015/16.

This in­crease has run along­side soar­ing num­bers of pa­tients be­ing ad­mit­ted at the trust’s A&Es, with num­bers ris­ing from 45,000 in 2014/15 to 61,000 in 2015/16, which amounts to a 34% jump.

Im­pe­rial Col­lege Health­care run A&E de­part­ments at St Mary’s Hos­pi­tal in Padding­ton and Char­ing Cross Hos­pi­tal in Ham­mer­smith.

Dur­ing 2015/16, one in seven pa­tients spent 12 hours from ar­rival at th­ese two hos­pi­tals un­til they were ei­ther ad­mit­ted, dis­charged or trans­ferred.

This was a huge in­crease from one in ev­ery 4,970 at­ten­dances in 2011/12.

At Lon­don North West Health­care NHS Trust, which runs Eal­ing and North­wick Park hos­pi­tals, the num­ber of peo­ple spend­ing at least 12 hours soared 324% from 1,706 at­ten­dances in 2011/12 to 7,236 in 2015/16.

Chelsea and West­min­ster also saw a sig­nif­i­cant rise in A&E ad­mis­sions, from 39,000 to 46,000 – a 16% rise dur­ing the same period.

A&E vis­its up across the coun­try. Across Eng­land, there were 20.5 mil­lion A&E at­ten­dances in 2015/16, up 4.6% from 19.3 mil­lion in 2014/15.

Pa­tients aged over 90 are most likely to spend 12 hours, with one in 24 A&E vis­its last­ing at least that long.

The num­ber of un­der 10s spend­ing 12 hours has in­creased five-fold over the last five years, from 816 in 2011/12 to 4,080 in 2015/16. How­ever this age group is the least likely to spend 12 hours or more in the de­part­ment, with just one in 564 vis­its last­ing that long.

Health sec­re­tary Jeremy Hunt has sug­gested scrap­ping the four hour A&E wait­ing time tar­get for some pa­tients with less se­ri­ous ail­ments.

Getwest­lon­don re­vealed on Tues­day Jan­uary 11 that Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal in Uxbridge is the worst per­form­ing hos­pi­tal at meet­ing the four hour tar­gets.

The fig­ures come from NHS Dig­i­tal.

Lon­don North West and Im­pe­rial trusts have both been ap­proached for com­ment.

UN­DER PRES­SURE: Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal and Lon­don A&Es are see­ing more ad­mis­sions and longer queues

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