Long waits faced at Blackburn A&E
MORE than 1,000 patients waited longer than four hours for emergency care at the Royal Blackburn Hospital in November, according to official figures.
Bosses at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) have been planning for a winter surge in demand but performance against the national four-hour waiting target has dropped significantly in recent weeks.
Blackburn’s A&E ward was described as ‘chaotic’ on Monday night last week, when dozens of patients waited several hours. In the week ending November 24, 227 out of 1,843 patients waited longer than four hours to be admitted, transferred or discharged from the A&E ward. The target was met in 88 per cent of cases, against the 95 per cent standard.
Numbers breaching the target in the previous three weeks were 270 (86%), 258 (87%) and 259 (86%), while the week ending October 27 saw 448 out of 2,003 patients miss the target, a performance of 78 per cent.
In the first three weeks in October, performance was about 90 per cent. Attendances have remained fairly stable, though admissions have increased slightly, suggesting patients have had more serious or complex problems.
Gill Rose, interim divisional general manager of medicine at ELHT, said: “Delays in the emergency department last week were mainly due to waits for assessment due to a high number of occasions when a large number of patients arrived within a short period of time.”
According to board papers discussed last week, there is a special team in place to monitor the delays and find ways to meet the target.
Bosses are also looking to match medical and nurse staffing to patient arrival times, with the junior doctor rota being revised for February.
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