Longest A&E waiting times at Queen’s Hospital trust since 2014
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images
A&E waiting times for Havering’s NHS trust are at their worst since December 2014, figures published yesterday reveal.
February saw only 80.4 per cent of all A&E patients in Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust (BHRUT) treated, admitted or discharged within the four hour limit.
For those in major departments that figure dropped to 77.2pc.
Both are well short of the 95pc national target, and trusts get fined for every patient that is late over the 5pc leeway.
February’s all patient waiting times were the second worst in London, after the trust for Haringey and Enfield.
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BHRUT has two A&E departments, one in Queen’s Hospital, Romford, and another in King George Hospital, Goodmayes, which is scheduled to close.
Chief operating officer Sarah Tedford said: “We, along with trusts across the country, are experiencing growing demand on our services so some people are having to wait longer than we’d like.
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“The number of patients being seen in our emergency departments has increased by around 4,000 per month this January and February compared to 2015.
“Our priority is always the safety of our patients and ensuring people receive the care they need. It’s vital that we see people in order of their clinical need so the most seriously ill are treated first.”
Mrs Tedford explained there is a shortage of A&E doctors nationally, but the trust had recruited three in the last year.
She added: “If it’s not an emergency people really shouldn’t be there and these patients will most likely experience longer wait times.”
Patients can now make urgent GP appointments – until 10pm on weekdays –and those with minor ailments can be treated by pharmacies.
Nationally A&E waiting times have hit record levels, with one hospital in Lancashire closing its department next week due to staff shortages.
The decision to downgrade King George was taken by the primary care trust in 2010, but a date cannot be set until BHRUT is out of special measures.