QA Hospital sees improvement in A&E waiting times as top doctor calls for health systemn overhaul

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Transplant - The St Mary's Hospital team undergoing pulse and blood pressure tests after a training session

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  • Hospital’s waiting times in A&E improve
  • But figures show they are still below national target
  • Clinical Commissioning Group head doctor says major changes are needed
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waiting times in A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital are getting better, but NHS bosses have said changes need to be made to continue that trend.

Between April and June this year, the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, which pays for health services, set QA in Cosham a target. This was to see, treat or discharge 81 per cent of people who attend the emergency department within four hours.

We know the pressures are still very real and nobody should assume progress will be easy

Dr Jim Hogan

For the first quarter of this financial year, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, hit 82.2 per cent.

Nationally the target is 95 per cent – but that is a mark QA has been missing for almost two years.

The average for last month was 89.7 per cent.

A PHT spokesman said: ‘Our staff have been working extremely hard to treat patients promptly and in a timely manner and we are pleased this is reflected in the recent upturn in performance.

‘However, we are still facing significant pressures.

‘In June we saw an average of 303 attendances each day, compared to an average of 184 each day in December.

‘We are working alongside our colleagues across the healthcare system to do everything we can to ensure patients continue to be safely managed.’

Commissioners say there needs to be an overhaul of the system in order for it to work in the future.

Dr Jim Hogan, head of the Portsmouth CCG, said: ‘In June, there were welcome and encouraging signs regarding the number of people facing long waits at QA’s emergency department.

‘However, we also know the pressures are still very real and nobody should assume progress will be easy.

‘For urgent and emergency care we have the twin challenge of managing the demand we see today and also building a new system which will give people faster, improved care.’

He added: ‘Looking farther ahead we are developing a new strategy for urgent care – because simply carrying on as we are will not be enough if we want patients to get the best.

‘That means a fresh look at the whole system, including how people get same-day appointments with GPs, how the out-of-hours and NHS 111 phone services work and how we support people better so they don’t suffer a health emergency in the first place.’