A&E boss is feeling optimistic about future but admits ‘more can be done’

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THE man in charge of emergency care at QA says he believes the hospital is getting better.

Dr Rob Haigh, executive director for the emergency care pathway, said a number of schemes have been introduced at the Cosham emergency department to help ease pressure and improve performance.

There are a number of innovative developments and I am confident they will generate results for our emergency department.

Rob Haigh

And, thanks to the ‘innovative developments’, the hospital has seen some improvements in hitting its A&E four-hour targets.

Since January, the national target for seeing, treating or discharging patients within four hours has steadily risen and for March was at 78 per cent, up from 75 per cent in February. The target is 95 per cent.

Dr Haigh said: ‘There are a number of innovative developments and I’m confident they will generate results for our emergency department.

‘The A&E Delivery Board, which met this week, is really helping and being supportive by starting a number of plans.

‘The system recognises the importance of helping the hospital.’

One of the schemes that has been launched is Pitstop.

Brought in at the end of last year, it has created extra care spaces allowing patients to be seen within one hour by a senior doctor or nurse and Dr Haigh said it is working well. In the most recent Quality Report by the hospital it said the Pitstop scheme has ‘seen an increase in earlier diagnostic tests in the emergency department allowing safer and earlier decisions around admittance or discharge’.

Another scheme has seen the hospital bring in more staff for ‘escalation of capacity’, which allows them to use spaces within the hospital they would not normally.

Dr Haigh added: ‘These are a few of the things we have been doing to ensure that we can provide safe services for our patients.

‘There is a lot of work to be done still but there are optimistic signals starting to come through.’

One concern which Dr Haigh did raise was patients being stuck in hospital beds waiting for care packages.

As previously reported by The News the hospital missed out on £7.6m in funding because of ‘bed-blocking’.

But he said QA Hospital is working with its partners to reduce the issue.

He said: ‘We want to make sure patients are not stuck in a place that is not nearly as good for them as being at home.

‘The CCG and social care teams have considered discharge to assess beds in the community that now are in place.

‘The level of understanding and the use of them has improved.’

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