11:00am Saturday 14th April 2012
EMERGENCY patients face long hospital waits after NHS staff failed to treat them quickly enough – every single month for a year.
NHS staff are supposed to see, treat, discharge or admit 95 per cent of patients within four hours of their arrival the A&E departments of Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, a target set by Government.
But Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust failed to do this for every single month of the last financial year, which runs from April to April.
In December last year and February this year the figure fell to 88 per cent.
The trust has been fined £400,000 per month by NHS Worcestershire for failing to hit the target – money that has been reinvested so as not to further undermine performance.
Chris Tidman, deputy chief executive of the trust, said: “February was an incredibly difficult month because of norovirus.
We have appointed an interim director of nursing care to try and turn this around.”
Hospital bosses have blamed the winter diarrhoea and vomiting bug norovirus with 12 wards affected at Worcestershire Royal Hospital at one stage in February.
The closure of beds, bays and whole wards to stop the spread of the virus means it is harder to admit patients, making it far more difficult to hit the waiting time target.
The latest figures show that staff at Worcestershire hospitals treated more than 130,000 people in 2011/12.
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