25th Jun, 2018

Hospital chiefs struggle to meet national targets, with some patients waiting in corridors for up to four hours

Ross Crawford 13th Sep, 2017

HOSPITAL chiefs are struggling to meet national treatment targets, with A&E waiting times at Worcestershire Royal a particular concern.

Across the Trust medics once again failed to hit the four hour waiting time standard in Accident & Emergency, while the 18 week referral to treatment time window was also missed.

However there was success in seeing and treating cancer patients while the two week breast cancer referral time was only missed due to some patients opting not to attend within that period.

In a report to the board of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Haq Khan, acting director of performance, says treatment times in A&E have ‘plateaued’ after showing improvement between December and March.

There was a marked difference in performance between the Royal, which is now seeing more seriously ill patients and children, and the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

The Royal treated 64 per cent of patients within the four hour Government target of 90 per cent, while the Alex recorded a level of 86 per cent.

However patients at the Royal were being quickly assessed on arrival with staff ‘triaging’ 84 per cent of patients within 15 minutes.

The latest figures for July also show an increase in the number of A&E patients waiting in the corridor at the Royal, rising from 199 to 212, however the length of time a patient spends there has decreased, from 287 minutes to 234 minutes.

Mr Khan said Worcester Royal in particular had been hit by an increase in workload, staffing shortages, and the inability to move patients out of A&E and into a hospital bed due to it operating at close to capacity.

Across the Trust the Alex and the Royal were receiving on average nearly 130 ambulances a day – ‘a consistently high level’ and there had been delays in transfer patients due to the sheer volume arriving.


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