THE local health trust has once again failed to hit the national target of seeing 95 per cent of patients within four hours in Accident and Emergency.
The performance at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) in May slumped from 84.4 per cent to 82.2 per cent resulting in particular in overcrowding at Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s Emergency Department.
Health chiefs blamed an increase in patients, up from 12,688 in May 2015 to 13,799 in May 2016, and a lack of beds, caused by patients fit to go home but with nowhere to go or no one to care for them.
The figures are a blow to the Trust, for which it will be fined, and mean it is now well into the second year that it hasn’t hit the Government’s 95 per cent standard.
The Trust also failed to deliver the national 15 minute standard for assessment in Emergency Department (ED), although this has improved to 35 minutes from 46 minutes in March 2016.
WAHT also failed to hit its 18 weeks Referral to Treatment time target of 92 per cent of patients and predicts it won’t be on schedule until the autumn as it recovers from holidays and the doctors’ strike, which forced consultants to step into frontline services.
The 62 day target of 85 per cent for first treatment of patients with cancer was also missed in May 2016, the Trust recording 77.3 per cent, an improvement from 74 per cent in April.
In respect of the two week wait in cancer targets the Trust fell way short of the 93 per cent required although in May it recovered to 63.6 per cent from 39.4 per cent in April. It is anticipated that the performance will improve in June to 75 per cent but will not recover fully until July 2016.
For breast cancer patients performance in May dipped further to 27.8 per cent compared with 34.5 per cent in April sparking urgent work to tackle the backlog and to develop recovery plans.