Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The May Board meeting at Ashford.

Here’s a bit of a mystery – I’ve been holding a magnifying glass over the documents from Ashford and St. Peter’s May Board meeting and there are a few things that don’t add up, and a few disturbing things too.

I’ll start with the Chair’s opening remarks, (highlighted and edited by me);


30th May 2013

Chairman’s Report

Accident and Emergency Target

Our performance in this area remains the primary concern of the Trust Board. We continue to experience many days of very tight capacity with high numbers of patients, with complex needs, needing to be admitted at the same time as we are seeing delays in the discharge of patients.

This pattern appears to be prevalent throughout the country and the issue is being debated in both the national and local media. Whilst our performance is better than a year ago, helped by all the changes we made in the organisation and delivery of our emergency care, we clearly need to do more to get our performance back in line within target. This matter will be discussed elsewhere on the agenda.”

Actually, I don’t think their performance is better than a year ago, even though last year was a pretty bad year by any standards – take a look at this article from the Health Service Journal last year dated 24th August 2012.


PERFORMANCE: Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust breached the four-hour target for accident and emergency waits more often than it met it during the first quarter of 2012-13, according to board papers.

NHS Surrey has published data on the performance of the county’s acute trusts against the 95 per cent target for A&E patients dealt with inside four hours, from the start of April to the end of June.

Ashford and St Peter’s was the joint worst performer – along with Royal Surrey County – of the county’s four main acutes, missing the target in seven weeks out of 13. The trust missed the target on three weeks out of five in April, achieving an average of 91.20 per cent.

It subsequently also failed to meet the target over four consecutive weeks across May and June. These were the week beginning 21 May, when it achieved 91.67 per cent, and that beginning 28 May, when it achieved 93.36 per cent.

It missed the target again in the week starting 4 June, when it achieved 93.13 per cent, and in the week starting 11 June, when it achieved 93.89 per cent.

An NHS Surrey performance report stated: “Quality performance issues remain of concern across the main trusts; most significantly acute provider attainment of the four-hour A&E wait, which three of Surrey’s Providers were unable to meet during April 2012.

“Contract queries were issued to Ashford St Peters and Royal Surrey County in April, although the Ashford St Peters notice has since been revoked following improved performance in the beginning of May.”


“In overall terms however there is cause for concern about the levels of attendances and the volatility of A&E performance.”

NHS Surrey board papers                                

Source Date: 20 July 2012


I’m puzzled, I need to check this years A and E waiting time figures using the Boards own figures.

We’ll see who got it right – hope I’m wrong.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop until you drop production)

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