Leicester A&E Waiting Times Are Deemed Unacceptable

GPs Have Blamed Hospital Managers For Lengthy Delays


A GP-led organisation has criticised hospital managers in Leicester for delays at the city's accident and emergency (A&E) units.

Simon Freeman, managing director of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), believes the situation is "unacceptable", the Leicester Mercury reports.

The news provider revealed that the A&E facility at Leicester Royal Infirmary was so overcrowded on Monday (February 17th), 17 ambulances containing injured or ill patients had to queue outside.

Hospital chiefs have defended themselves, suggesting the number of admissions on this particular day was double what it would normally expect.

Indeed, Richard Mitchell, chief operating officer at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, confirmed that 616 people were brought into A&E on Monday, of which 132 were not seen within the four-hour target time.

However, at a CCG board meeting earlier this week, Mr Freeman insisted the delays cannot be blamed on a lack of available space.

"I don't see any issues that prevent the trust achieving A&E targets. The current performance is not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination," he was quoted as saying.

"This isn't a bed issue. This is about the proper processing of patients."

Mr Mitchell has refuted these claims, suggesting that every bed was full. He added that 74 extra beds are needed to accommodate the recent spike in A&E admissions in the city.

The situation in Leicester is mirrored in a number of towns and cities across the UK.

A&E admissions have soared throughout the nation and the public have been urged not to visit emergency units unless they genuinely require urgent attention.

The NHS has been put under particularly strong pressure during the winter months and figures published last month showed the health service had narrowly missed its A&E waiting times target at the start of January - which is generally a very busy period for hospital staff.

According to the statistics, 94.3 per cent of patients in the week up to January 5th were seen within four hours. The target was 95 per cent.

Expert Opinion
It is worrying to see the impact increased admissions is having on Leicester’s Accident and Emergency department

“The ultimate aim of the NHS should be to ensure that patients get top quality care across every department, as this would not only reduce repeat visits to hospitals but also cut the number of cases which A&Es need to deal with on a daily basis.

“Patients attending A&E require a quick response and any delays in treating serious injuries and illnesses can have a major impact on prospects of recovery. An action plan must be put in place to cope with this additional demand and ensure staff at all levels have the time and resources needed to provide patients with the safe, quality care they deserve.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner