A&E at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, receives 110 ambulances a day - more than any other unit in London
- Credit: Archant
Queen’s Hospital’s troubled A&E department receives 110 ambulances a day, new data show – more than any other casualty unit in London.
Queen’s Hospital’s A&E department receives 110 ambulances a day, new data show – more than any other casualty unit in London.
The figure, for the year 2012/13, represents a 15 per cent hike compared with 2011/12.
Ambulances account for a fraction of the traffic to casualty units, which typically see thousands of patients through the door each week.
But the revelation the troubled Queen’s A&E has experienced London’s biggest increase in ambulance referrals this year raises questions about how London Ambulance Service (LAS) decides where to take acutely ill patients.
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A&E units at neighbouring King George and Whipps Cross Hospitals saw an increase in ambulance traffic of 2 per cent apiece.
LAS’s assistant director of operations Paul Gates explained: “Queen’s is the only A&E department in the borough. The nearest alternative, King George, does not accept certain patients – for example, paediatrics and maternity patients.”
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In 2012/13, LAS took nearly 40,000 people to the Romford hospital, whose A&E was revealed last month to be London’s slowest.
Last week, 90.6 per cent of its patients were seen within the government’s four-hour target for A&E-goers.
The Department of Health expects hospitals to see at least 95 per cent of visitors within that time.
Chief executive Averil Dongworth said: “Reducing waits for patients in the emergency department is our highest priority.
“We are working hard to recruit more permanent staff. There is a national shortage of A&E consultants, and we know using locums to cover shifts can affect productivity.
“Dedicated work to improve the situation has seen our vacancy rate for emergency care staff drop from 45pc to 18pc in recent months.”
Mr Gates said LAS had received nearly 2,000 (17pc) more calls from Havering people needing urgent care in 2012/13 than 2011/12.