Waiting times at Scarborough Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department have failed to hit national targets once again as a number of patients waited more than 12 hours before they were given a permanent bed.
Earlier this year it was revealed that at the hospital in February and March, 78% and 79.2% of patients respectively were seen and discharged within four hours. The national target set to NHS trusts is 95%.
It has now emerged that targets for April and May were also missed. In April the figure fell to 71.7%, before recovering slightly to 74.8% the following month.
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The figures were announced at a meeting of the board of Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) today (Wednesday).
Over the same period, 21 people had to wait more than 12 hours for a permanent bed as Scarborough Hospital experienced increased attendances leading to bed pressures. The waits are referred to as “trolley” breaches or waits in official NHS statistics.
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Board member Dr Peter Billingsley told today’s CCG meeting that the name could be misleading.
He said: “Although we call them ‘trolley waits’ they are always on hospital beds, they are not trolleys at all.
“They are classed as beds.”
The CCG is working with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Scarborough Hospital, to rectify the issue, which is also having an impact on ambulance handover times.
A spokesman for the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The emergency departments at both York and Scarborough hospitals were extremely busy in April and May, with high levels of attendances and ambulance arrivals.
“We continued to see increases in inpatient attendances and across the trust there was an additional 2,185 extra patients attending A&E in April and May – an increase of 11% against the same period last year.
“Ambulance handovers remained challenging on both Scarborough and York sites, with the numbers of arrivals in May the second-highest level of ambulance arrivals over the last two years.
“Patients can play their part in helping to reduce demand during the summer months. Our hospital A&E departments are for emergency care only. People should consult their GP or pharmacist, or if they are unsure where to go for advice or treatment, they can call the NHS 111 service (dial 111).”
All of the trolley breaches for April and May occurred at Scarborough Hospital’s A&E department and each case was reviewed, with no cases of harm being caused to a patient as a result of the wait found.