Stoke Mandeville A&E waiting times above national average for ten months of 2016

Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Stoke Mandeville Hospital

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A Bucks Herald investigation has revealed Stoke Mandeville NHS waiting times only hit NHS targets for 2 months during 2016

A freedom of information request revealed that A & E waiting hours at Stoke Mandeville were above the 4 hour limit for 10 months of 2016.

Table showing average waiting times @ Stoke Mandeville A&E

Table showing average waiting times @ Stoke Mandeville A&E

The longest average wait time during 2016 was in January, where patients could be waiting nearly five and a half hours.

The NHS constitution states that 95% of all A&E patients should be dealt with within four hours.

It was reported this week that the NHS in England is performing at its worst-ever recorded level against targets for A&E, cancer and trolley waits.

Figures for December 2016 reveal that nationally, 86.2% of A&E patients were seen within four hours, the worst figure on record.

The target for hospitals is 95% - a figure emergency departments have now not met since July 2015.

NHS crisis tracker has identified a £479m is the funding gap for the NHS in the Buckinghamshire area.

This comes after the Bucks Herald revealed that Stoke Mandeville hospital was on Black Alert, as the Hospital was running at critical capacity during January.

The new evidence of a growing crisis in A&E comes as more hospitals are having to declare a “major incident” as they fail to cope with what doctors and managers have said are unprecedented numbers of patients.

Hospitals regularly have to increase their bed capacity by opening overflow or “contingency” wards where they can admit and treat extra patients and hiring extra staff to provide care there.

Neil Macdonald, chief operating officer for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “There are a number of well-known and perennial contributing factors for the continuing pressure on A&E which can affect performance figures.

"These include the prevalence of patients with multiple long-term conditions, challenges with being able to discharge patients safely and those people who use A&E as a first choice for treatment, rather than make use of other more appropriate options available to them. A&E is very often the barometer for what is happening across the whole system, and this therefore requires a whole system response.

“We are investing significant amounts into building up our community services capacity. This includes providing additional care beds along with support for people in their homes. This will ensure that patients can be discharged to the right place, freeing up hospital beds for those who need them – including those who arrive in A&E.

“We would like to reassure people that emergency cases will be seen and treated as usual, with priority given to those with greatest clinical need.

“We would remind the public that there are a number of alternative options available to them if their case is not an emergency. These include calling 111 for advice or to be referred to an out of hours GP if it is not possible to get an appointment with your local GP, or visiting a pharmacy which can help with a range of illnesses, including winter colds.”

Have you ever waited more than 4 hours at A&E? Email: Editorial@bucksherald.co.uk