Emergency department just misses the target
11:50am Sunday 10th March 2013 in News
THE Royal Bolton Hospital has improved its A&E performance compared to last year — despite a blip in January.
Despite narrowly missing the 95 per cent target in January by just 0.4 per cent, hospital bosses say there has been a marked improvement since January, 2012, when it missed the target by seven per cent.
Hospital chiefs blamed the failure partly on the outbreak of the winter vomiting bug norovirus, which closed more than a quarter of the beds A&E patients are normally transferred to.
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust is still expecting to achieve the overall 95 per cent target for A&E, a year after health watchdog Monitor said the trust was in “significant breach” for failing it.
Since April, 2012, there have been huge improvements in performance, bosses say, and in January the hospital’s A&E department was recognised as being one of the best performers in the region.
This is despite the closure of town centre Lever Chambers, the walk-in facility, which many feared would lead to delays at A&E.
A new £1.5 million 14-bed ward, which opened in November, has helped to ease the pressure on the department.
The trust’s chief operating officer, Jon Scott, told the board of governors on Thursday that although it was disappointing that January’s target had been missed it was a “good news story”.
The norovirus outbreak in January, which saw visitors banned from the hospital, closed 111 of the hospital’s 400 medical beds, which are used for patients who have been admitted to hospital after visiting A&E.
Mr Scott said: “We had been doing really well all year and we just missed it in January.
“But if you take 111 beds out, it does have a big impact. We achieved a 94.6 per cent rate and last January it was 88 per cent so even though we didn’t hit the target in January we did a lot better than last year, although it is not as good as we would have liked.”