Colchester A+E hits target for first time as regions other trusts struggle

Colchester managed to hit its targets this month, Ipswich did not. Picture: ARCHANT

Colchester managed to hit its targets this month, Ipswich did not. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

One A+E department in our region has managed to buck nationwide trends by hitting its target for seeing patients for the first month since records began.

West Suffolk Hospital is taking action to reduce its disposable cup usage. Picture: GREGG BROWN

West Suffolk Hospital is taking action to reduce its disposable cup usage. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust managed to see 95.4% of those admitted to A+ E within four hours in March. The target is 95%.

The results stood in contrast to the rest of the UK where March was said to be the worst waiting time performance since records began. The national average for March was just 84.6%.

Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust both recorded a higher than average result but failed to hit the target with 87.9% and 85.3% respectively.

A spokesperson for Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals said: “Keeping our promise to patients and meeting the national access standard of seeing 95% of all patients within four hours is a priority for us. “


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They added that the hospitals had been working hard on what they called admission prevention: “much of our work is seeing that people are seen at the right time in the right place by the right people.”

They said that hospitals had been working with carehomes to prevent the elderly from being admitted unnecessarily.

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They also said that the lower figures for last month at Ipswich Hospital did not reflect an increase in the number of patients but rather the complexity of the cases being seen.

Helen Beck, chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like many trusts, we continue to face rising demand in our emergency department at West Suffolk Hospital.

“In March 2018 we saw 6,168 attendances, which is a significant rise of 4.6% compared to March 2017. Of these, we admitted 2,304 patients to our hospital.

“Overall, in 2017/18 we have seen a 5.4% increase in attendances to our emergency department compared to 2016/17, with 71,022 attendances.

“However, in 2017/18 we have also managed to increase our average annual performance against the 4 hour emergency department standard by 2.22% to 89.36%.

“Although we strive to meet the targets set within the emergency department, and don’t want our patients to wait, we do have to prioritise emergency department care for our sickest patients.”

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