Bad news for A&E queues
Waits are getting longer as number of admissions increase
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