BLACKBURN’S A&E department has improved patient care by hitting and exceeding the national four-hour target.

The aim of the target is to ensure patients are seen by a nurse or doctor and discharged or admitted to the hospital within four hours of arriving at the emergency department.


East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has achieved an average of 96.5 per cent against the A&E national performance target of 95 per cent, since mid-August.

This was in comparison to last year when just 93 per cent of patients were dealt with within the time limit.

During the week beginning September 6 the hospital reached 97.79 per cent of patients being seen and discharged within four hours. That means out of the total number of 3,537 patients seen that week, 78 waited more than four hours.

That figure was 182 in the middle of August when a similar number of patients were seen.

The trust said it had been achieved by employing more staff to cope with the demands of the department.

Dr Damian Riley, medical director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The trust has seen a high number of people attending A&E in recent months which can often put a strain on our frontline staff, but we’ve responded well and been able to cope with the demand.”

The 95 per cent four-hour standard in emergency departments was introduced by the Department of Health in 2010.

The trust has struggled to meet the target for many years, often reporting some of the worst figures in the region. But while other trusts have fallen back, ELHT has improved since the start of last year, when it was in special measures.

Dr Riley added: “The latest results make our A&E one of the best in the country which is a superb achievement for everybody involved and the progress is a real tribute to how hard everybody works. Our goal now is to maintain this improvement and continue to provide safe, personal and effective care to every patient, every time.”