THOSE in charge of the trust that runs Queen Alexandra Hospital have promised patient safety is not at risk despite it missing key A&E waiting time targets.
The messages were given at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust’s (PHT) board meeting yesterday.
Chairman Sir Ian Carruthers said: ‘It’s well documented that the NHS has had a difficult start to the year, and Portsmouth is no exception.
‘Figures are only one way of recording what is going on in a department.
‘A&E has had pressure on it, but whenever I visit the department I see staff are dedicated to doing the best for safety and give effective care for everyone there.
‘I’m grateful to the staff and want to reassure the community that if they come to the hospital they will get safe and effective care.
‘The staff are fantastic and it’s amazing how they keep their spirits up.’
It comes as PHT has failed to meet the government benchmark of seeing, treating or discharging 95 per cent of patients within four hours.
The latest figures show the trust achieved this 73.3 per cent of the time during the week ending January 18.
And hundreds of ambulances have been left waiting outside A&E for more than 30 minutes, as the NHS deals with a surge in demand from patients.
But despite this, the trust’s chief executive Ursula Ward is also giving assurance that patient safety is not compromised.
She said: ‘It’s absolutely significant that we have a rise in the ageing population in this area.
‘It’s growing and there’s a direct correlation between an increase in age and diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
‘This is on our doorstep and it’s staying with us and we see frail patients in A&E.
‘We are managing our patients in a safe way and I want to give that assurance to members of the public.’