A&E waiting times improve – but some still face 12 hours on trolleys before admission

PUBLISHED: 10:02 30 April 2017

Weston General Hospital.

Weston General Hospital.


Weston General Hospital’s accident and emergency (A&E) department has made improvements on waiting times, but six patients faced waits of more than 12 hours on trolleys before being admitted in February.

The Mercury previously reported 70 patients were left waiting for more than 12 hours on trolleys in the A&E department in January, more than the previous three months combined.

In February the Weston-super-Mare hospital improved its waiting times, but six patients still waited more than 12 hours in A&E between being told they needed to be admitted and being allocated a bed on one of the hospital’s wards.

Weston Area Health NHS Trust, which runs the Grange Road hospital, saw 4,073 patients through its doors in January, as it battled against what its chief executive James Rimmer described as ‘the most difficult winter in NHS history’.

But things improved in February and the latest statistics show 346 fewer people faced waits of more than four hours compared to the previous month.

This means 69.5 per cent of patients in A&E were dealt with in less than four hours in February – a 5.6 per cent rise from the previous month.

The hospital’s director of operations Phil Walmsley said: “We have taken several actions to improve our A&E performance and it’s reassuring the measures we’ve put in place are having a positive impact on our waiting times.

“We should keep in mind though that January was exceptional in being one of the most difficult months in NHS history.”

The hospital is working with North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which decides which services it offers – to gather public opinion on four changes at the site.

There were 910 emergency admissions via A&E in the whole of February, compared to 1,074 the previous month.

But one idea for the hospital means its A&E could operate a scaled-back service at night, which would mean emergency patients are diverted directly to Bristol or Taunton between 10pm and 8am each day.

Mr Walmsley said: “We remain on a journey of improvement and we’re actively working with our local partners across the region to find new solutions and ways of working to give patients an even better service.”

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