Top marks for A&E waiting time

PUBLISHED: 12:11 12 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:00 06 May 2010

The A & E at Lister

The A & E at Lister

HOSPITALS in Comet country have had a mixed review following an annual health check. But the Lister, QE2 and Hertford County hospitals were given top marks for the average waiting time in A&E for patients who are subsequently admitted to hospital. The rep

HOSPITALS in Comet country have had a mixed review following an annual health check.

But the Lister, QE2 and Hertford County hospitals were given top marks for the average waiting time in A&E for patients who are subsequently admitted to hospital.

The report, conducted by the Healthcare Commission, looks at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's management of admissions.

The Trust was scored out of five, with five being good and one being poor, in five categories - emergency access, efficiency: emergency medical admissions, appropriateness, hospital access for waiting list patients and efficiency: surgical admissions.

The Trust performed below the national average in three of these areas, scoring two for hospital access for waiting list patients, compared with 3.022 nationally; 2.8 for appropriateness compared with 2.966 nationally and 2.5 compared with 2.905 nationally for efficiency: emergency medical issues.

The five categories were also divided into sub-categories and the Trust scored five out of five for the average waiting time in A&E for patients who are subsequently admitted to hospital.

However, the Trust also scored one out of five for the percentage of stays in an admissions unit before transfer to a ward that exceeds 48 hours.

The lowest score available was also given to the percentage of admissions cancelled within seven day of the notified admission date for a non-clinical reason, although data was missing from the survey.

The overall assessment of the Trust's management of admissions was deemed to be fair - from a choice of weak, fair, good and excellent.

The Trust's chief executive, Nick Carver, said: "The Commission's report shows the Trust continues to improve as we strive to become more efficient and responsive to patients' needs.

"Today very few people wait for more than four hours in our A&E departments, with the average waiting time - especially for minor injuries - being far less."

He added: "In the future, elective patients - those who come in to hospital for a planned operation - will follow a pre-assessment process to ensure they are well enough for surgery.

"On the day of their operation, most patients will be admitted via a special admissions unit and then be cared for on a ward set up to deal with elective surgery.

"For patients arriving at hospital as an emergency, on the other hand, there will be separate, streamlined arrangements to ensure only those who really need to come in to hospital are admitted.

"When that happens, they will be cared for on wards with facilities and staff capable of dealing with the sorts of problems experienced by such patients.

"The overall impact of these changes, which are being introduced now, is that our patients will start to find that their admission process is faster, smoother and more efficient than has been previously.

"Modern medical practice and new technologies also mean that increasing numbers of patients experience shorter stays on our wards, which is better for them clinically while allowing the Trust to treat even more patients than is possible currently.

"We won't rest there, however, in our efforts to match the performance of the best hospitals in the NHS.

"We have made much progress, but there is still more to be done.


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