A&E crisis: Nearly 700 patients a month waiting more than 12 hours at Royal - report - The Evesham Observer

A&E crisis: Nearly 700 patients a month waiting more than 12 hours at Royal - report

Evesham Editorial 28th Mar, 2018   0

A DAMNING independent report has revealed nearly 700 patients a month are waiting longer than 12 hours at Worcestershire Royal’s overstretched Accident and Emergency unit.

Of these, more than 460 are over 65 years old and more than 100 are over 85 years old. The Government’s target is all patients should be seen and dealt with within four hours.

The report, by Carnall Farrar into the Trust’s Urgent and Emergency Care, claims staff have had to adopt a ‘siege mentality’ and poor performance against breaches in targets, including the care of patients in corridors, had become normal.

Too many ideas had failed to ‘stick’ – due largely to staff having to deal with an unacceptable patient experience for too long, according to the report which called for ‘clearer strategic leadership is needed in setting direction, driving cultural change’.

The shocking findings claim Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust cannot enter another winter with its current levels of bed capacity.

Worcestershire Royal Hospital is running close to or over 100 per cent bed occupancy with the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch close behind.

The centralisation of services at Worcester without additional bed capacity has been blamed for the impact on A&E and the report claims the planned increase in capacity in 2020 is simply too far away.

“The Trust has a long history of poorly planned bed reductions stretching back some 20 years, which has led to the current situation where patients are routinely cared for in a corridor because of the lack of capacity to do otherwise,” the report states.

“There have been four chief executive officers, five chief operating officers, four medical directors and three Nursing

Directors in the last two years and this has fueled a sense of continual crisis and was a factor in the absence of system-working or collaboration.”

While the impact of chief executive Michelle McKay is praised the report continues: “Despite this, the numbers of patients waiting within the A&E departments has remained at unacceptable levels.”

A Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust spokesperson told The Observer the issues identified were ‘not new’ and said extra capacity would be available this winter.

“We have a major programme of work relating to flow across the Trust and Carnall Farrar are providing valuable additional resource and expertise as part of a national arrangement put in place for Trusts facing the greatest challenges on Emergency Access standards.

“Nevertheless, even with these changes, and in common with hospitals across the country, it has been a very difficult winter.

“An evaluation of our winter plan will be undertaken to inform our planning for next winter.”

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