27th Jun, 2019

Hospital still way off target on wait times

Ross Crawford 10th Apr, 2019

CLOSE to 4,000 patients spent more than four hours in Accident and Emergency at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital in February, new figures have revealed.

A further 85 waited more than 12 hours to be admitted after a decision was made to take them in.

The figures are revealed in papers to be discussed by the board of directors at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust tomorrow (Thursday).

The Government target is for 95 per cent of A&E patients to be discharged, transferred or admitted within four hours of arrival – known as the four hour standard.

Measured against this the Royal achieved 57.95 per cent and the Alex 65.89 per cent.

The figures also reveal that 522 patients arriving by ambulance remained under the care of paramedics for more than one hour waiting to be admitted to A&E.

Although high, this figure is some 277 patients fewer than in January – the standard is that no patients should wait longer than one hour.

In all 789 patients spent time in the corridors in February, 39 fewer patients than in January, however there was no decrease in the hours they spent there, averaging four hours 40 minutes per patient.

The Trust also struggled against other targets, including the speed at which patients started treatment and the rate at which patients received diagnostic tests like CT scans.

For stroke care just 13 patients out of 51 – 25.5 per cent – were admitted directly to a stroke ward, when the target is 90 per cent.

The statistics come as the Trust, currently £25million over budget, battles to keep a lid on its finances which are currently forecast to record a £73.8million deficit for the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

This keeps it reliant on loans from NHS Improvement however this will be the sixth consecutive year the Trust has failed its in-year break even duty which is likely to bring it to the attention of Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Looking ahead to 2019/20 the Trust needs to find savings of £22.5million from its cost improvement programme but has so far been only able to identify £13.3million.

Furthermore it’s also scheduled to repay £105.8million in existing revenue loans but has asked for this to be deferred.

Meanwhile efforts have been launched to Improve the culture, retention and staff experience across the Trust in an effort to boost the satisfaction rating among employees.

This comes after a survey revealed just 58 per cent of staff would recommend it for treatment and 52 per cent for work – the national average is 71 per cent and 63 per cent respectively.

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