Nottingham’s A&E still missing targets – but performance is improving
Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust is failing to meet A&E waiting time targets – but its performance is improving month-on-month.
Latest NHS England data on performance shows that NUH, which manages the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital, is failing to meet the national target of treating or admitting 95 per cent of patients requiring urgent and emergency treatment within four hours.
Instead, the trust saw an average of 76.6 per cent of patients within the target four-hour window.
The NHS England data shows hospital trusts’ performance for every month between April 2016, and February this year.The data shows that NUH’s performance during that period peaked in September last year, when 81.2 per cent of patients who attended A&E were treated, admitted or discharged within four hours.
The trust’s performance hit a low of 75 per cent in December last year – the same month that NUH issued two ‘black alerts’ after “unprecedented” patient numbers left the emergency departments with no available beds.
NUH’s performance has steadily improved since then, with the data showing that 77.6 per cent and 79.3 per cent of patients were seen within the four-hour window in January and February respectively.
Caroline Shaw, chief operating officer at NUH, said performance improved again in March and that it is set to go up again this month.She said: “We didn’t achieve the national four-hour standard in 2016/17, despite the hard work and focus on flow and reducing discharge delays by staff across NUH and wider health and social care system.”Our performance has been better in recent months – 81.4 per cent in March and 83.2 per cent in April to date – and improving performance remains a priority for NUH and the wider health and social care system.”The constructive feedback the system has received from the Emergency Care Improvement Programme and the Care Quality Commission after its December 2016 inspection has informed where we need to focus our energy to ensure patients get the timely care they deserve.”
Mrs Shaw added that the trust’s plans to develop a new emergency department are being developed with the aim of reducing overcrowding, and hopes that improvements to internal processes on patient flow will help address the issue.
On Friday, April 21, it was announced that NUH will receive £400,000 to help it meet targets next winter.
Meanwhile, the performance of Sherwood Forest Hospitals (SFH) NHS Foundation Trust, which manages King’s Mill Hospital, Newark Hospital and Mansfield Community Hospital, is consistently close to the national target.
SFH hit or exceeded the 95 per cent target in May, August, October, and November last year.
In February, 94.4 per cent of patients requiring urgent care were treated, discharged or admitted within the four-hour window.
Roz Howie, chief operating officer at SFH, said: “The four-hour urgent care standard is to treat and discharge or admit 95 per cent of urgent and emergency attendances within four hours.”Although this tends to shine a light on the dedication and commitment of our urgent care teams, it is actually a sign that the whole of the health and social care system is working effectively to manage admissions and discharges.
“Figures for the trust as the whole, which includes King’s Mill’s emergency department, the urgent care centre at Newark Hospital and the GP-led primary care 24 centre, also at King’s Mill, show we are regularly exceeding or coming close to the 95 per cent target.”
She added that SFH saw 95.2 per cent of patients requiring urgent care within four hours in March.
Source Nottingham Post