WORCESTER’S MP Robin Walker expressed his ‘deep concern’ at the crisis crippling Worcestershire Royal Hospital following the deaths of two patients on trolleys.
Mr Walker held talks with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday (January 9) to discuss the situation facing the city’s A&E unit.
The Health Secretary told the House of Commons the hospital was the one he was ‘most worried about of all.’
As a result of the meeting, the Department of Health is looking at short term and long term solutions to ease the extreme pressure the Royal has faced this winter.
This includes the opening of a new ward next week to deal with the number of patients going through A&E.
The city’s MP also called on Mr Hunt to bring forward the £29million Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust needs in order to carry out their programme for the future of acute hospital care in the county and said the cash was ‘essential’ for the expansion of services.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Walker said: “I am deeply concerned that we should have reached a situation where Worcestershire is at the centre of national concerns about hospital safety. I never want to see this happen again.
“When our trust was put into special measures I said that patient safety must be paramount and I have taken up the concerns of all the constituents who have contacted me over the last few weeks both with the Trust and with the Department of Health,” he added.
The under-fire trust, which was placed into special measures in December 2015, has not hit its 95 per cent target of patients attending A&E being seen, treated and then admitted or discharged in under four hours for more than a year.
“Clearly extra capacity at the hospitals is only one part of a bigger solution to the massive challenge of a rising population of elderly and vulnerable people and we need to see investment in primary care, community care, social care and many other areas,” Mr Walker added.
“I would like to see all of the NHS trusts in Worcestershire working together to improve the situation.
“I will be contacting both the Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Health and Care Trust, who are already providing essential support to the hospital, to see how they can take up some of the new powers on offer from the Department of Health,” he added.
A trust spokesman, said: “We can confirm that both of our A&E deptartments experienced an extremely busy Christmas and New Year period and these pressures are continuing.
“We have robust plans to deal with such demand and partners across the NHS have supported us in ensuring that patient safety and emergency care maintained.
“These pressures have unfortunately led to patients waiting longer than we would aim for, however all A&E patients continue to be seen and treated in order of clinical priority,” he added.
- THE Trust was placed in special measures by NHS Improvement in December 2015 following a Care Quality Commission inspection.
- Concerns around urgent care led to a risk summit on December 22, 2016.
- The trust has not hit its 95 per cent target of patients attending A&E being seen, treated and then admitted or discharged in under four hours for more than a year.
- There were 37 x 12 hour trolley breaches in November – that is patients spending more than 12 hours on a trolley.
- The 93 per cent target for patients being seen with suspected cancer within two weeks from referral has not been achieved since March 2015.
- However the 93 per cent target for breast symptomatic patients was achieved in October and November 2016.
- The Trust’s deficit to date for November was £25.3m, £1.6m worse than plan and before winter hit. The target deficit for the year is £34.6m.
- The Trust currently has 200 vacancies for qualified nurses and 48 for unqualified staff.