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Trust set to hit 999 waiting time target
HOSPITAL bosses are poised to hit a key emergency waiting time target for the third month in a row.
NHS staff are supposed to see, treat, discharge, transfer or admit at least 95 per cent of patients within four hours of them coming through the doors of A&E.
The trust had failed to hit this target for 15 months but following a dramatic turnaround has managed to hit the target, considered one of the most important of all hospital targets, in July (95.58 per cent) and August (96.13 per cent). Staff also look on course to hit it for this month as well with a figure of 97.1 per cent as of September 19.
The results have been achieved despite a surge in demand for services 14.5 per cent above than the same period last year. However, there was a note of caution at a board meeting of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust at Kidderminster Hospital on Wednesday. The busiest time of the year for NHS staff is winter, peaking between Christmas and New Year, which may make it harder to sustain the good performance in coming months.
Stewart Messer, the trust’s chief operating officer, said: “First and foremost comes patient safety. We can’t turn patients away.”
Chris Tidman, deputy chief executive, said: “It did take us a while but we did eventually sort out the A&E performance and, touch wood, we will have delivered that for three months on the trot. “When we put our minds to things we can put things right.”
Mr Tidman said there were now ‘a lot more greens than reds’ on the trust’s performance, particularly in relation to A&E. He said: “Despite increased pressure we are managing to meet the standard.”
The trust has also managed to hit all its cancer targets for the month and stroke targets which has been an area of historically poor performance for the trust. The figures for August show that 84.4 of patients who experienced a stroke were admitted directly to a stroke ward, above the national target of 70 per cent. Another target is that 80 per cent of stroke patients should spend at least 90 per cent of their time on a stroke ward where they enjoy a better chance of recovery and of avoiding permanent disability. The trust hit this target in August with 90.77 per cent of patients spending 90 per cent of their time on a stroke ward.