AMBULANCES were on divert from Kidderminster General to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch yesterday, Thursday, as Worcestershire Royal continued to struggle with the number of patients coming into its Accident & Emergency department.
Last week we told how one Redditch woman suffering from appendicitis spent 17 hours in the corridor at the Royal waiting to be admitted to a ward for her operation.
Back in March an independent report into Accident & Emergency at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) found nearly 700 patients a month were waiting more than 12 hours for treatment at the Royal.
Health Watch Worcestershire campaigner Neal Stote said it was time the politicians stopped blaming health chiefs and gave the Trust the money it needs to sort out the problem.
“It’s now more than a year since the new model of health care was approved and the money agreed to pay for it,” he said.
“Worcestershire has seven MPs, all members of the Government, one very highly placed in it, and it is time they stopped blaming the Trust for inaction and gave them the money to get the job done.
“I honestly think the change of management with the arrival of Sir David Nicholson will make very little difference because the buck stops with Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary.”
He also said the decision to divert patients from Kidderminster to Redditch underlined the importance of having a fully functioning A&E department at the Woodrow site.
“It just goes to show what a vital link the Alex is and it should be in a position to offer a full range of services, both for adults and children,” he said.
(WAHT) has been coming under mounting pressure from West Midlands Ambulance Service for the delay in transferring patients into its A&E department caused by a lack of capacity at the Royal.
“The ambulance service is a finite resource,” said Mr Stote.
“For every minute one is tied up waiting at the Royal is another minute lost when it could be going to help someone in an emergency.”
A spokesperson for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Improving patient flow, particularly at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, is one of our key priorities and we continue to work closely with our partners across the health economy to explore ways in which services can be improved to ensure patients receive quality, safe care.”
To see how busy Accident & Emergency departments are across the Trust, click here here