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A&E target times 'under pressure' in East Lancashire
10:32am Monday 1st October 2012 in News
INCREASING pressures on East Lancashire’s accident and emergency service are threatening targets on patient waiting times, according to hospital bosses.
Speaking at a board meeting for the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT), director of operations Val Bertnenshaw raised concerns about the national target of seeing A&E patients within four hours.
She said: “In August, the four-hour waiting target was only just achieved. There is pressure in the A&E department that we wouldn’t normally expect at this time of year.”
Mrs Bertenshaw told members that:
- Attendances last month were three per cent up
- Ambulance conveyances were 19 per cent up
- Emergency admissions were five per cent up
The four-hour A&E figures for August have not been released, but for the two months of July and August, 96.24 per cent of patients were waiting less than four hours, against a target of 95 per cent.
Mrs Bertenshaw later said: “The rising number of attendances across urgent care provision in the NHS is a national issue and although locally at ELHT we continue to meet the nationally set standards for emergency care, we recognise that this is a challenge, especially approaching winter.
“We are therefore working closely with primary care to understand the reasons for the increase and to review services in order to ensure we can meet the increasing demand.”
A study by the King’s Fund dound that more hospital trusts failed the four hour accident and emergency target in the first quarter of 2012-13 than in any first quarter since 2004-05.
Between April and June 2012, 35 trusts breached the target for 95 per cent of patients to be admitted or treated and discharged within four hours.
In total 188,594 patients waited more than four hours in A&E in quarter 1 of 2012-13.