Four-hour target missed again in A&E at QA Hospital in Portsmouth

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NEW figures show that Queen Alexandra Hospital is still failing to meet the four-hour target for seeing patients in A&E.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, was the 15th worst performing in the country in January with 66.7 per cent of people seen within four hours.

That is a slight improvement on December’s figure of 66.2 per cent – but still far from the 90 per cent target.

In November, the figure was 68.7 per cent and in October the figure was higher at 69.3 per cent.

Leader of the Lib Dem opposition at Portsmouth City Council Gerald Vernon-Jackson called for more to be done to provide social care places in the community to free up hospital beds, and in turn speed up the admissions process at A&E.

He said: ‘Hospital staff are working hard and doing so in a quiet and efficient way but there are far too many people in hospital and in A&E that don’t need to be there.

‘We need to find ways of getting people from there and into other facilities. When people are admitted there is a problem with the shortage of beds and of getting people out and into appropriate care facilities.’

The average number of people seen within four hours for England dropped from 79.3 per cent in December to 77.6 per cent in January. This was 82.7 per cent in November. The number of people attending A&E at QA fell in January to 8,906 from 9,081 in December, 192 fewer admissions compared with November.

A statement from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘Like many hospitals around the country, our emergency department has been exceptionally busy over winter.

‘We have also seen increasing numbers of frail and elderly patients requiring admission, which has placed added pressure on our services.

‘We’re working hard with NHS partners to reduce the number of patients that do not need to be in an acute bed for their continuing health or social care, to enable us to safely discharge patients and ensure we have more space for our emergency admissions.

‘We continue to ask patients to think carefully about their urgent care needs.

‘The ED is for major emergencies such as severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, serious accidents and severe bleeding.

‘The St Mary’s walk-in centre or Minor Injury unit at Gosport War Memorial Hospital can offer excellent, alternative clinical treatment.’