Crisis Talks For Country's 30 Worst Performing Accident And Emergency Units

NHS Trusts Told Special Measures Could Be Brought In If They Fail To Improve


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The country’s 30 worst performing A&E units were locked in crisis talks with NHS Improvement executives after the latest figures revealed they were falling short on patient waiting times.

The figures, published by the Care Quality Commission identified 30 NHS Trusts struggling to meet targets which require 95 per cent of patients to be treated within four hours.

NHS Improvement lead Jim Mackey called chief executives from the poorest performing trusts to the emergency meeting where he told bosses they need to achieve targets of 85 per cent by the second quarter of 2016, and 95 per cent by the end of next year or special measures might be put in place.

Expert Opinion
“Every patient and their family should expect to receive the best possible care when they are in hospital.

“Although A&E departments have a very tricky task in managing their current resources to best effect, the CQC findings are concerning from a patient safety perspective and we hope that issues highlighted will lead to improvements in care.

“The vast majority of hospital staff do an outstanding job in very trying circumstances and under constant threat of reductions in budget and services, but sadly there are occasions when patients suffer harm which, with the appropriate care, could have been entirely avoided.”

Sarah Wealleans, Solicitor

According to the numbers, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital saw just 75.9 per cent of its 9,391 patients in January inside of four hours, making it the 11th worst record of any A&E department in the country.

The CQC raised concerns about a shortage of nursing staff which impacted on the care offered by the trust, which treats more than 800,000 people a year.

The report also identified that there were not enough staff in the maternity unit, critical care and the specialist palliative care teams to provide cover, in line with national guidelines.

But while the hospital was told it needs improvement in those areas, inspectors noted the care and respect shown to patients passing through its doors as well as the professionalism and efficiency of the urgent and emergency services, and critical care services - rated as good overall.

Richard Parker, chief operating officer for NNUH, said: “Nationally there is recognition that A&E departments are under great pressure with more attendances and more emergency admissions compared to a year ago.

“A clear message from NHS Improvement was the importance of recognising the hard work of our teams which have done a great job to keep the service running in such difficult circumstances.”