Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Bosses at Ipswich Hospital have said they are making improvements on A&E waiting times – despite one person spending almost 11-and-a-half hours in the emergency department.
Figures published by Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) show how the Heath Road site performed towards the end of last year against set targets.
According to the November targets patients should have had an initial assessment within 25 minutes of arriving at A&E, with the maximum time they should spend there being six hours.
But according to the CCG’s recently released Integrated Performance Report at least one person waited four hours for their initial assessment in November, while the longest time spent in the department was 11 hours 22 minutes.
Another area for which the report gave figures was ambulance handover times – how long it takes for a patient to be admitted to A&E after being brought to hospital in an ambulance.
The target is to have a handover time under 30 minutes, with the report recording times greater than that and greater than 60 minutes.
While the target for both is zero, in November it was 121 for the former and 28 for the latter.
In response to the figures, a spokesman for Ipswich Hospital said: “The latest figures that we have show a significant improvement in our performance for emergency care.
“On Friday, January 23 we celebrated one whole month of achieving the national access standard of seeing 95% of all patients within the emergency department within four hours.
“We had no breaches for the whole of the month and we are in the top 10 hospitals throughout the country for emergency care.
“Our improvement in performance has also meant we have improved the amount of time ambulance handovers take and this is because of strong partnerships working with everyone involved including ambulance staff and GPs.”
Annie Topping, chief executive of watchdog Healthwatch Suffolk, said “We understand that our urgent care system continues to be put under increasing levels of pressure this winter and that our frontline services are finding it difficult to meet important national targets.
“There are forums set up in Suffolk to bring together different organisations to review and address the issues that service users and the public are facing.
“As a member of them, Healthwatch Suffolk is working with these clinicians and managers to agree appropriate steps to improve the services.
“Our role within these forums is to independently represent the views of local people and ensure that their views are heard to improve the services.
“That is why I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to keep us fully informed with their latest experiences.”