Queen Alexandra Hospital at Cosham has had its fair share of brickbats thrown its way in its recent history – particularly when it comes to the A&E department.
But there have been concerted efforts to turn things around and make sure that the region’s main hospital has an A&E department to be proud of again.
Setting realistic goals has to be part of that.
As much as we would like to see QA achieve the national target of 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours, when we are starting with as woeful a baseline of 74 per cent, we know it would be unrealistic to see that happening immediately.
Dr Rob Haigh, the recently-appointed executive director for the emergency care pathway at QA, has suggested that an 85 per cent rate is attainable.
Currently only 12 out of 140 hospital trusts across the country hit that magic 95 per cent figure, which demonstrates just how tough it is to achieve. It would also suggest that there is a much wider funding crisis in our NHS, which is no secret.
That major financial point aside, we can all play our part.
A significant number of attendees at A&E do not need to be there and could be better dealt with elsewhere, freeing up staff for more serious cases.
To that end, there are two minor injury units people can attend. St Mary’s NHS treatment centre, on Milton Road in Portsmouth, is open from 8am until 9.15pm on weekdays and 8am until 10pm on weekends, while in Gosport the minor injuries unit at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, on Bury Road, is open from 8am until 9pm every day.
As we move towards winter, the strain on A&E will undoubtedly increase. So we all need to think about these options before joining the queues at the QA.