Eight hour waits at A & E

Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Patients have been facing waits of more than eight and a half hours in Doncaster Hospital Trust’s accident and emergency departments, according to new figures.

The figures come as hospital bosses warn they are seeing more patients coming into the A and E department than ever before.

A report which goes before governors who run the Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital reveals statistics indicating one in 20 patients who were admitted to the hospitals’ wards via the A and E department in July had to wait eight hours 38 minutes or more in the department. It is more than double the hospital’s official target, which is set at 95 per cent of patients being seen inside four hours.

The report to the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust governors also reveals waiting times for triage examinations – the initial assessment of the patient by clinical staff which is used to decide the urgency of the case – are failing to meet the target.

The wait for initial assessment was 40 minutes or more for one in 20 patients in the latest figures, for July, compared to the target of seeing 95 per cent within 15 minutes.

Only 90.2 per cent of people visiting A and E are being seen within four hours, compared to the 95 per cent target.

The report also reveals one of the hospital’s public governors, George Webb, expressed concern about the management of the emergency department.

Hazel Brand, another governor at the trust, said she had concerns over the Accident and Emergency waiting times figures.

She said: “Governors have been very concerned about A&E reported waiting times in recent weeks, but I am reassured that the trust management has the problem in hand and an action plan is well under way and the statistics are already improving.”

Coun John Mounsey, the chairman of the Doncaster Council overview and scrutiny committee, a former trust governor, was also concerned. He said: “These times are obviously quite serious. Work needs to be done as soon as possible to see what can be done while providing quality and affordable services.”

The hospital says the figures have come under a new system for recording and had still to be verified.

Mike Pinkerton, chief executive at the trust, said: “At our board meeting last month we reported narrowly missing our quarter one four hour target, which covers the months of April, May and June.

“We achieved the target for both April and May. However performance in June was affected by a number changes in the department that have been made to improve patient care and experience in the long term. Most significantly we implemented and launched our new electronic patient record, ”