Monday, 17 June 2013

Waiting times update.

            WE REVEAL



So, how is the Accident and Emergency at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals doing these days? We don’t get a lot of transparency – I’ve grumbled before about that. Being open about problems is good management, solving problems is even better.

Keeping quiet is just a step away from doing nothing.

We only get one set of statistics about A and E’s from the NHS – waiting times. Clever hospitals fiddle the figures – they have a little waiting area – an assessment area to keep patients off the ‘timer’. They keep patients waiting in ambulances so that they don’t register until they are in the door – there are other tricks too. It’s crude but it’s all we’ve got.

Still these are targets and you can’t go on fixing things for ever. Under bad old labour, A and E’s were supposed to admit or discharge 98% of patients within 4 hours. The coalition has made it easier – the target came down to 95%.

St. Peters has been missing its target all year – all down to the ‘winter’. I know winter has been dragging on this year but here are the figures for May and the first week in June.

Looks like winter is still here;


Date             Type 1       All         Number over4 hours.      

5/5/13         92-2%        93-4%               42

12/5/13       93-1%        94-1%               48

19/5/13       87-6%        89-5%               52

26-5%          91-1%        92-5%               40

2/6/13         93%           94%                   46

As far as I can see, ‘Type 1’ are usual casualty patients, I put ‘all’ in as well to be fair – but that includes simpler casualties – dealt with quicker.

The figure in the last column shows the actual number of poor souls who had to wait more than 4 hours but less than 12.

I know what that is like.

Not so good.

But here is a little mystery – as I said these are the official NHS England figures – the ‘SITREP’ figures. In the Board minutes Ashford and St. Peter’s use another and different set of figures which they supply to ‘Monitor’, that’s the regulator that controls Foundation trust Hospitals – what’s that about?

I may have to take a closer look at that.

Neil Harris

( a don’t stop till you drop production)

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